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Development of Trichogramma australicum Girault (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) in Helicoverpa (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) host eggs

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Morphological studies of development of the egg parasitoid Trichogramma australicum Girault in the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), were conducted to provide benchmarks for assessing developmental rates in both natural hosts and artificial diets. Observations of living embryos and histological sections show that embryos proceed rapidly through cleavage and blastoderm formation and show a characteristic pinching or rotation 8 h after deposition. Eggs progressively increase in volume, primarily by increasing in diameter at the widest point. At 29 ± 1°C the duration of the egg stage is 22−24 h, the larval stage 27 h, the prepupal stage 50−52 h, and pupa 85 h. Larvae undergo dramatic shape changes as they ingest food but do not show signs of larval moults, reinforcing observations that there is only one larval instar. Criteria for staging the embryonic and postembryonic development in natural hosts will be used for future studies aimed at developing and refining artificial diets for Trichogramma.
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Keywords: Helicoverpa armigera; Trichogramma australicum; embryonic development; postembryonic development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, Qld 4072, Australia.

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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