Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/2009
Publication Date: 3/1/2010
Citation: Mena-Correa, J., Sivinski, J.M., Anzures-Dadda, A., Ramirez-Romero, R., Gates, M.W., Aluja, M. 2010. Consideration of Eurytoma sivinskii Gates and Grissell, a eurytomid (Hymenoptera) with unusual foraging behaviors, as a biological control agent of tephritid (Diptera) fruit flies. Biological Control. 53:9-17. Interpretive Summary: Fruit flies attack hundreds of fruits and vegetables, but biological control promises to be a cost effective and environmentally-friendly means of suppressing their numbers. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida, in collaboration with entomologists at the Instituto de Ecologia (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico), explore for new parasitoids and predators. One recent discovery is an unusual parasitoid species that attacks fruit fly pupae. It was found that this species is an efficient forager and might be particularly useful when host fruit flies are widely scattered. Explorations for natural enemies with unique capabilities will continue.
Technical Abstract: We describe some aspects of the oviposition bevavior and demography of a recently discovered Mexican parasitoid species, Eurytoma sivinskii Gates and Grissell (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae), exhibiting the novel behavior of attacking tephritid fruit fly pupae (Anastrepha spp.) buried in the soil. Rates of parasitism of Anastrepha ludens (Loew) did not change when fruit (Spondias spp.) were present near hosts which suggests that E. sivinskii may not utilise fruit semiochemical or visual cues to locate potential hosts. Parasitoids preferentially attacked pupae on the soil surface rather than those underground, although burrowing by adults was observed. When host pupae of different ages were exposed to E. sivinski, it preferentially parasitized young pupae over older pupae. Eurytoma sivinskii females without oviposition experience had an expected lifespan (Lx) of 51 days and a maximum longevity of 86 days, whereas females with daily host access exhibited a Lx of 24.9 days and a maximum longevity of 77 days. Eurytoma sivinskii females produced an expected female offspring (Ro) of 44.3 eggs and 34.3 larvae during their lifespan. The intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm) was 0.34. This is high relative to other fruit fly parasitoids and suggests that E. sivinskii could rapidly exploit patchy resources.