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Host Preference and Progeny Sex Ratio in a Solitary Koinobiont Mealybug Endoparasitoid, Anagyrus Pseudococci (Girault), in Response to its Host Stage

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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.

Keywords: ANAGYRUS PSEUDOCOCCI; EMERGENCE; ENCYRTIDAE; HOST SIZE; MEALYBUGS; PARASITIZATION; PARASITOID; PLANOCOCCUS CITRI; PREFERENCE; PSEUDOCOCCIDAE; SEX RATIO

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09583159730857

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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tandf/cbst/1997/00000007/00000003/art00015
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