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Differences in egg parasitism of Chrysophtharta agricola (Chapuis) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) by Enoggera nassaui Girault (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) in relation to host and parasitoid origin

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The first instances of egg parasitism of Chrysophtharta agricola, a pest of eucalypt plantations, are recorded. Enoggera nassaui was found parasitising C. agricola egg batches in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales and Victoria: this is the first record of this parasitoid species from Victoria. One instance of Neopolycystus sp. parasitising C. agricola eggs in Victoria was also recorded. Parasitism of egg batches by E. nassaui ranged from 0 to 55% between five geographical populations collected in mainland Australia (n = 45), and from 0 to 2% between two populations collected in Tasmania (n = 300). For mainland sites at which parasitism was recorded, parasitism rates within sites differed significantly from either population in Tasmania. Reciprocal exposure experiments using one Tasmanian (Florentine Valley) and one parasitised mainland (Picadilly Circus, ACT) population were conducted in the laboratory to examine whether these different parasitism rates were attributable to egg or parasitoid origin. Parasitoids from the ACT parasitised C. agricola eggs of both origins more successfully than parasitoids from Tasmania, with up to 65% wasp emergence compared with 33% from Tasmania. Parasitoid origin significantly affected the number of wasps that emerged from exposed batches, but not the total loss from parasitism.
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Keywords: eucalypt leaf beetle; geographical variation; parasitoid efficacy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry (CRC-SPF), GPO Box 252−12, Hobart, Tas. 7001, Australia and School of Agricultural Science, The University of Tasmania, GPO Box 252−54, Hobart, Tas. 7001, Australia. 2: NZ School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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