Biology of Pseudoligosita plebeia (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), an Egg Parasitoid of Homalodisca spp. (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) Collected From Northwestern Mexico as a Potential Biocontrol Agent of H. vitripennis in California

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Pseudoligosita plebeia (Perkins) (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) is a candidate biological control agent targeting the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), in California. Little is known about the biology of P. plebeia. Here we report the results of laboratory studies describing the longevity of P. plebeia adults provided alternative food resources, their ability to parasitize H. vitripennis eggs of different ages, lifetime offspring production when provided steady access to excess host eggs, and levels of mature ovarian eggs present when wasps were held without access to hosts. P. plebeia is a gregarious parasitoid, with up to six adults emerging from a single H. vitripennis egg. When provided with honey and water, water alone, or no food or water, P. plebeia adult females lived an average of 64.1, 2.3, and 2.0 d, respectively. P. plebeia were able to successfully parasitize all ages of H. vitripennis eggs (1‐8 d old), with higher parasitism in younger host eggs (1‐3 d old) than in older host eggs (5‐7 d old). An increasing trend in offspring production was seen for P. plebeia from adult age 2‐26 d followed by a decreasing trend with offspring produced up to age 75 d. P. plebeia females are at least partially synovigenic, as they contained fewer mature eggs at younger ages (1 and 3 d old) than at older ages (5, 11, 15, and 31 d old). Our results provide foundational information regarding the biology of P. plebeia useful for its further evaluation as a potential biological control agent in California.

Keywords: biological control; egg parasitoid; glassy-winged sharpshooter; parasitoid biology

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2012

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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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