Submitted to: USDA Interagency Research Forum on Invasive Species
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Classical biological control efforts against emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) (EAB) in North America primarily have focused on introduction and releases of exotic parasitoid species collected from northern parts of China. Recently, field surveys in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Ontario also indicate that some existing parasitoids in North America (either indigenous or inadvertently introduced) have already become associated with EAB and may play a supplementary role in suppressing the populations of EAB. Balcha indica (Hymenoptera:Eupelmidae) is one such parasitoid, recently recovered from various stages of EAB larvae, prepuae, and pupae collected in MI, PA, and MD, and found to reproduce thelytokously (i.e., virgin female reproducing daughters). In the present study, the longevity, oviposition rate, and fecundity of adult females, as well as development time of immature stages were determined in the laboratory. Balcha indica is a solitary ectoparasitoid attacking larvae, prepupae, and pupae of EAB. Lifetime fecundity of 27 females averaged 36 eggs with a maximum of 94 eggs, and adult longevity averaged about 59 days. Mean adult survivorship was 8.58 weeks with lower and upper 95% confidence interval of 6.95 and 10.21 weeks, respectively. It is important to note that one female lived 98 days without laying a single egg. Throughout exposure bouts, parasitism averaged 30.9% (range from 0 – 100%). Under the normal rearing condition (25±°C and D:L 14:10 hr. photoperiod), B. indica took approximately 89 days to complete its life cycle (from egg to adult emergence) with a short development time for egg ( less than 2 days) and first instar larvae (less than 4 days), and a prolonged development time for the remaining larval stages (56 days) and pupal stage (27 days).