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Title: Biology of Eurytoma Sivinskii, an unusual Eurytomid (Hymenoptera) parasitoid of fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) pupae

item Gates, Michael
item ALUJA, M. - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2008
Publication Date: 12/15/2008
Citation: Mena-Correa, J., Sivinski, J., Gates, M.W., Ramirez-Romero, R., Aluja, M. 2008. Biology of Eurytoma Sivinskii, an unusual Eurytomid (Hymenoptera) parasitoid of fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) pupae. Florida Entomologist. 91:598-603.

Interpretive Summary: Fruit flies are one of the most economically important crop pests in Central and South America where they infest important tropical fruits. This paper details the natural history of a recently described parasitic wasp discovered in Mexico that has a beneficial impact for biocontrol of pestiferous fruit flies. It provides information on the wasp’s development and discusses its host range. This information will be useful to scientists and biocontrol workers involved in the biocontrol of pestiferous fruit flies in the Neotropics.

Technical Abstract: Eurytomidae are diverse biologically, being entomophagous, phytophagous or both and typically attack egg, larval and/or pupal stages of their hosts. Here, we describe some aspects of the natural history of a recently described Mexican species, Eurytoma sivinskii (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) found attacking Anastrepha obliqua (Diptera: Tephritidae) pupae in the soil. In the laboratory, we determined that E. sivinskii attacked only the pupae, and not the larvae, of the related A. ludens and that it is a generalist, solitary ectoparasitoid that can facultatively hyperparasitize other larval-prepupal and pupal parasitoids such as Opius hirtus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Coptera haywardi (Hymenoptera: Diapriidae) and Pachycrepoideus vindemiae (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Eurytoma sivinskii developed in the pupae of various other Anastrepha, including, A. serpentina and A. striata, as well as in cyclorraphous Diptera such as Musca domestica and a tachinid. However, it was unable to attack pupae of Palaeosepsis sp. (Diptera: Sepsidae). The life cycle (egg to adult) was completed in 23.1 (± 2.1) days (mean ± S.E.) at 27 ± 2°C. Males emerged on average two days before females, but the sex ratio was consistently skewed towards females. Females laid between 1-8 eggs per host, preferentially in the medial and anterior parts of the host body, but invariably only one adult emerged. Our results suggest that E. sivinskii does not represent a potential candidate for fruit fly biological control programs because of its broad host range and its ability to facultatively hyperparasitize other fruit fly parasitoids.