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Research Project: Biological Control and Associated Technologies for Managing Invasive Wood-Boring and other Forest Insect Pests such as Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorned Beetle and Spotted Lanternfly

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit

Title: Chinese oak silkworm Antherae pernyi egg, a suitable factitious host for rearing eupelmid egg parasitoids

item CHEN, YONG-MING - Guizhou University
item IQBAL, ASIM - Guizhou University
item LV, RUI-E - Guizhou University
item Wang, Xingeng
item DESNEUX, NICOLAS - National Council For Scientific Research-Cnrs
item ZANG, LIAN-SHENG - Guizhou University

Submitted to: Pest Management Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2022
Publication Date: 1/12/2022
Citation: Chen, Y., Iqbal, A., Lv, R., Wang, X., Desneux, N., Zang, L. 2022. Chinese oak silkworm Antherae pernyi egg, a suitable factitious host for rearing eupelmid egg parasitoids. Pest Management Science.

Interpretive Summary: The Japanese giant silkworm is a newly emerging defoliator pest of forest and fruit trees. It is causing severe economic losses in East Asia but has not yet been reported in North America. Current control strategies rely on broad-spectrum insecticides. To develop effective and environmentally friendly biological control strategies for this pest, we evaluated methods for rearing six native Chinese egg parasitoids on eggs of the Chinese oak silkworm, an alternate host that is not a pest and is easily reared on a large scale. All six parasitoids can be easily reared on this alternate host. Our results will also help to improve mass rearing programs for other pest biological control programs.

Technical Abstract: Eupelmid egg parasitoids in the genera Anastatus and Mesocomys are important biological control agents for lepidopterous and hemipterous pests worldwide. The egg of Chinese oak silkworm Antheraea pernyi has been widely used for mass rearing of Trichogramma parasitoids. This study evaluated the suitability and optimal use methods of A. pernyi egg as a factitious host for the rearing of six eupelmid egg parasitoids (A. fulloi, A. gansuensis, A. japonicus, A. meilingensis, M. albitarsis and M. trabalae). Each parasitoid was tested for its oviposition preference and offspring performance on various differently treated host eggs (extracted from virgin moths or laid naturally by virgin or mated moths, and washed or unwashed prior to the use) in both no-choice and choice tests. All treated A. pernyi eggs were readily parasitized by the six parasitoids. In general, A. gansuensis and M. trabalae preferred washed over unwashed eggs regardless of the fertilization status of host eggs; A. fulloi and A. meilingensis parasitized more unfertilized than fertilized host eggs; and A. japonicus and M. albitarsis did not show a preference among differently treated host eggs. Host egg treatment did not significantly affect offspring fitness (development time, survival, sex ratio and body size) nor reproductive potential of developed adult females for each parasitoid species, except for M. albitarsis (whose females contained more eggs when reared from unfertilized than fertilized host eggs). Results suggest that manually extracted, unfertilized and washed A. pernyi eggs are most suitable for mass rearing of these eupelmid egg parasitoids in biological control programs.