Biology of Stethynium sp. (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), a Native Parasitoid of an Introduced Weed Biological Control Agent

Helen Spafford, A. Joder, K.L. Batchelor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    A new species of wasp, Stethynium sp. (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), was found parasitizing eggs of an introduced weed biological control agent, Zygina sp. (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), a leafhopper released against bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides L. Druce). A series of laboratory experiments was conducted to determine the development time and longevity of the wasp under different temperatures and the oviposition preference of the wasp for leafhopper eggs of different ages. Parasitized leafhopper eggs were placed in controlled temperature rooms set at either 15, 20, or 25 degrees C and monitored for adult emergence. It was determined that development time of Stethynium sp. from egg to adult eclosion decreased as temperature increased and female wasps took longer to develop than males. Adult male and female wasps were placed in controlled temperature rooms set at these same temperatures and provided either water, a 10% sugar solution, or no food at all. Female wasps lived longer than males and sugar solution increased longevity significantly over no food or water alone, but this effect decreased with increasing temperature. Adult female wasps, given a choice between 1-, 2-, 3-, 5, and 7-d-old eggs, showed no preference, and all progeny were able to develop and emerge at the same rate from any aged egg. Adult females also laid eggs in 8- and 9-d-old host eggs. There was a slight decrease in emergence rate from 9-d-old host eggs compared with 8-d-old eggs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)630-636
    JournalEnvironmental Entomology
    Volume35
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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