Host Preference and Progeny Sex Ratio in a Solitary Koinobiont Mealybug Endoparasitoid, Anagyrus Pseudococci (Girault), in Response to its Host Stage
Abstract:Anagyrus pseudococci (Girault) , a koinobiont endoparasitoid , is a potential biological control agent of the citrus mealybug Planococcus citri (Risso) . This paper examines the effect of host stage of the mealybugs on the parasitoid preference , development , survival and sex ratio of the offspring . Host susceptibility and preference tests showed that the parasitoid had a significant preference for the older host instars . Percentage parasitization increased 4.8 - fold in the adult stage , compared with the second - instar host , although the parasitoid developed and emerged successfully from all stages . Mean developmental time for male parasitoids was faster than for the females . There was some evidence of delayed development of males in young hosts . Higher percentage emergence of parasitoid was observed from older mealybugs . A. pseudococci exhibited maternal adjustment of sex ratio as a function of host size with an increased proportion of females with the increasing host size . Females maximized their fitness by adjusting offspring sex ratio in response to host size without evaluating the future host quality . This information is important for mass rearing of A. pseudococci and for evaluating it in a biological control programme for P. citri.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1997-09-01