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Title: Biological control of the Mediterranean fruit fly in Israel: biological parameters of imported parasitoid wasps

item ARGOV, YAEL - Israel Cohen Institute
item BLANCHET, ARNAUD - European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)
item GAZIT, YOAV - Israel Cohen Institute

Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2011
Publication Date: 7/30/2011
Citation: Argov, Y., Blanchet, A., Gazit, Y. 2011. Biological control of the Mediterranean fruit fly in Israel: biological parameters of imported parasitoid wasps. Biological Control. doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2011.07.009.

Interpretive Summary: The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) is a key pest of citrus and other fruits in Israel and worldwide. Many biological control efforts against fruit fly pests have used parasitic wasps of the family Braconidae. Several exotic species were recently imported to Israel for release against the pest. The future success of the biological control program depends in part on the ability to maintain colonies of, and mass-rear, these natural enemies. The basic life history parameters of three of these parasitic wasps were studied in the laboratory to determine how to successfully rear and maintain stable and healthy colonies.

Technical Abstract: Three braconid species that parasitize the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), CERATITIS CAPITATA (Wiedemann) were recently imported into Israel. Several of their key biological parameters were studied. The longevities of the egg-attacking parasitoids FOPIUS ARISANUS and FOPIUS CERATITIVORUS, and the larval parasitoid DIACHASMIMORPHA KRAUSSII in the laboratory at 24 ± 1 degrees C were 42.1 ± 2.0 d, 36.9 ± 2.0 d and 18.6 ± 1.6 d, respectively. These wasps oviposited for 17.8 ± 0.9 d, 17.7 ± 0.8 d and 12.7 ± 1.6 d, during which they produced 133.0 ± 20.5, 103.9 ± 12.4 and 282.7 ± 43.1 offspring/ female, respectively. The daily fecundity rates were 6.8 ± 1.8, 5.0 ± 1.0 and 15.3 ± 2.0, offspring/female/day, with sex ratios (females) of 43.0 ± 7.9%, 69.4 ± 3.3% and 59.0 ± 1.8%, respectively. FOPIUS ARISANUS and F. CERATITIVORUS preferred to oviposit into 48 h-old eggs, while D. KRAUSSII preferred to oviposit in 7 d-old (late 2nd- to early 3rd instar) larvae. A spherical, artificial oviposition unit was developed for the egg-prepupal parasitoid F. CERATITIVORUS.