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The Use of Laboratory Studies of Three Hymenopterous Parasites to Evaluate Their Field Potential1

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Abstract:

Estimates of the temperature tolerances and competitive interactions of 3 introduced parasites of the spotted alfalfa aphid, Therioaphis trifolii (Monell) (= T. maculata (Buckton) ), derived from laboratory investigations, arc discussed relative to their distribution, abundance, and effectiveness in alfalfa fields in California. The parasites Praon exoletum (Nees), Trioxys complanatus (Quilis), and Aphelinus asychis (Walker) are solitary and endoparasitic in habit. Such factors as developmental rate, reproductive potential, and innate capacity for numerical increase calculated at various constant temperatures were considered in an effort to analyze each parasite bioclimatically. In addition, the competitive characteristics of each were considered from the standpoint o[ mutual interference.

It was concluded that although all 3 parasite species possess certain exclusive bioclimatic features which adapt each to slightly different conditions, by and large T. Complanatus should be the most effective parasite over a wide range of climatic conditions. A scrutiny of the competitive interactions among the three did not modify this conclusion.

Field studies conducted in California by other investigators have shown that although P. exoletum was prevalent shortly after the introduction of the 3 species, T. Complanatus has more recently become the most widely distributed, the most abundant, and clearly the most effective parasite. These observations suggest the value of using laboratory studies as a basis for: (1) the advanced prediction of the geographic distribution and relative effectiveness of a parasite to be introduced, and (2) examining the possibilities that several parasite species may interfere with one another in their capacities to control the pest insect.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1968

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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