Biology and Efficacy of Aprostocetus (Eulophidae: Hymenoptera) as a Parasitoid of the Blueberry Gall Midge Complex: Dasineura oxycoccana and Prodiplosis vaccinii (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)

Authors: Sampson, Blair J.; Roubos, Craig R.; Stringer, Stephen J.; Marshall, Donna; Liburd, Oscar E.

Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 106, Number 1, Pages 1-523 , pp. 73-79(7)

Publisher: Entomological Society of America

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In the southeastern United States, bud-infesting larvae of two gall midge species, Dasineura oxycoccana (Johnson) and Prodiplosis vaccinii (Felt), destroy from 20 to 80% of the rabbiteye blueberry crop, Vaccinium virgatum Aiton (syn. V. ashei Reade). These midge larvae are attacked by five species of parasitoid wasps. The most effective of these is the bivoltine eulophid Aprostocetus sp. nr. marylandensis (Eulophidae), whose adults constitute one-third of the gall midge parasitoids, active in both conventional and organic blueberry fields. Broods of Aprostocetus use several reproductive strategies to keep sole possession of their larval hosts. As solitary endoparasitoids as well as facultative hyperparasitoids, precocial larvae of Aprostocetus devour hosts organs along with any younger siblings and rival parasitoid broods. Although larger hosts are preferred, any sized larvae can be parasitized, which reduces brood congestion and infanticide. An Aprostocetus female spends an hour or more in a systematic hunt for hosts, during which time 40 to 100% of midge larvae encountered are parasitized. Aprostocetus females could have located hosts more quickly had they recognized host-feeding scars as cues. Even so, high rates of larval parasitism achieved by Aprostocetus may kill as many midges as insecticides do.

Keywords: Eulophidae; Platygastridae; Vaccinium; biological control; parasitism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • 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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