Journal of Insect Behavior (2021) 34, 71-81

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Augusto Rodrigues, Fabrício F. Pereira, Paulo R.R. Barbosa, Christian S.A. Silva-Torres and Jorge B. Torres (2021)
Parasitism behavior of Tetrastichus howardi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) on larvae and pupae of sugarcane borers
Journal of Insect Behavior 34 (3), 71-81
Abstract: Control of the sugarcane borers, Diatraea saccharalis and Diatraea impersonatella (= D. flavipennella) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), in Brazil, is based on mass release of the larval parasitoid Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). However, this method does not prevent some pupae of these borers from completing development and recolonizing the crop. Thus, additional control is required. This study investigated the parasitoid Tetrastichus howardi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) to control pupae of sugarcane borers, especially D. impersonatella. Regardless of larval instar and species, no larval parasitism occurred within 24 h of exposure. Nevertheless, a longer exposure period (ca. 96 h) resulted in parasitism of older larvae. Approximately 90% of pupae of both borers were parasitized by T. howardi within 24 h of exposure, and the parasitoid produced a similar number of offspring with >90% females. The developmental time of T. howardi parasitizing D. impersonatella pupae was delayed ~2 days from that of in D. saccharalis. No-choice trails revealed that parasitoid females took longer to start probing larvae compared to pupae. Likewise, when larvae and pupae were offered simultaneously (choice test), the latter represented the first choice of about 92% T. howardi females. The elapsed time to first attack was less on pupae than on larvae, whereas the number of attacks and probing time was greater on pupae. In addition, parasitism on D. impersonatella pupae was higher than on larvae feeding on artificially infested sugarcane seedlings. These results suggest that T. howardi prefers to parasitize the pupal stage and has the potential to be used as a biological control agent to complement the control of sugarcane bores.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Fabricio F. Pereira, Jorge B. Torres

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Diatraea saccharalis Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)
Diatraea impersonatellus Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)
Tetrastichus howardi (parasitoid) Diatraea saccharalis Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)
Tetrastichus howardi (parasitoid) Diatraea impersonatellus Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)