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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301218

Research Project: Biologically-based Technologies for Management of Crop Insect Pests in Local and Areawide Programs

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Nutrient uptake and allocation capacity during immature development determine reproductive capacity in Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Hymenoptera:Braconidae), a parasitoid of tephritid flies.

item Martinez-ramirez, Alejandro - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico
item Cicero, Lizette - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico
item Sivinski, John
item Guillen, Larissa - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico
item Anzures-dadda, Alberto - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico
item Martin, Aluja - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/19/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Tephritid fruit flies attack hundreds of fruits and vegetables and are responsible for trade restrictions wherever they occur. Parasitoids such as Diachasmimorpha longicaudata can be massed reared to suppress pest numbers and the choice of host could influence their size, dispersal capacity and fecundity. Scientists at the USDA Agriculture Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, and colleagues at the Instituto de Ecologia, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico examined the effects of Interspecific host size and rearing substrate on various fitness parameters of D. longicaudata. While differences in size and egg load occurred these were not strictly related to host size suggesting the possibility of using smaller, more cheaply obtained hosts in parasitoid mass-rearing operations

Technical Abstract: Fitness in hymenopterous parasitoids is influenced by host quality. For generalist parasitoids in many cases host quality is proportional to host size, because larger hosts provide greater quantities of nutritional resources to the developing parasitoid. We measured the effects of these two variables and their interaction in the braconid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata, using three tephritid species of different sizes: Anastrepha ludens (large), A. obliqua (intermediate) and A. serpentina (small). Female parasitoid body size was positively correlated with host size. The number of mature oocytes per female varied with parasitoid age (0 – 24 h) and with host species (wasps developing in A. obliqua and A. ludens had the largest egg load). Oocyte size was greater in females that emerged from A. obliqua and A. ludens developing in grapefruit, whereas those reared from A. serpentina had the smallest oocytes. Parasitoids that emerged from A. obliqua had the lowest lipid concentration. Egg load, egg size and adult parasitoid body size (hind tibia length) were not related to host size or nutrient profile, suggesting an important role of the capacity of parasitoids to assimilate nutrients from different hosts. Caution should be used in assuming that generalist parasitoids, such as D. longicaudata, presented with multiple species of hosts, will benefit by preferentially attacking larger hosts.