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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Newark, Delaware » Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397822

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: Performance of Chouioia cunea reared from a coleopteran alternative host as a biocontrol agent against the invasive lepidopteran pest, Hyphantria cunea

item LI, TIAN-HAO - Guizhou University
item Wang, Xingeng
item DESNEUX, NICOLAS - National Council For Scientific Research-Cnrs
item SONG, LI-WEI - Jilin Agricultural University
item ZANG, LIAN-SHENG - Guizhou University

Submitted to: Pest Management Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/8/2022
Publication Date: 12/11/2022
Citation: Li, T., Wang, X., Desneux, N., Song, L., Zang, L. 2022. Performance of Chouioia cunea reared from a coleopteran alternative host as a biocontrol agent against the invasive lepidopteran pest, Hyphantria cunea. Pest Management Science.

Interpretive Summary: Fall web-worm is a native North American forest pest that has invaded over 30 countries in Asia and Europe. A parasitic wasp native to Asia and Europe can effectively attack this exotic insect pest. The wasp has been mass-reared on Chinese oak silkworm for successful biological control of web-worm in China. We evaluated mealworm beetles as a substitute rearing host for this natural enemy in regions where the Chinese oak silkworm is not available. Wasps reared from this substitute host performed as well or better than those reared from the Chinese oak silkworm. Mealworm beetles are commercially available worldwide and could be used to rear this natural enemy to improve the prospect of biological control of this invasive North American pest in its invaded regions

Technical Abstract: Chouioia cunea is a generalist pupal endoparasitoid. Native to Eurasia, the parasitoid has been mass-reared on an alternative Lepidopteran host (Antheraea pernyi) to successfully control the exotic invasive Lepidopteran pest Hyphantria cunea in China. This study evaluated the potential of an easily cultured Coleopteran beetle (Tenebrio molitor) as a substitute host for rearing C. cunea by comparing the relative performance of the parasitoids reared from both alternative hosts on H. cunea. Compared with those reared from A. pernyi, the parasitoids reared from T. molitor (i.e., T. molitor vs. A. pernyi groups) performed equally well in terms of number of offspring produced per parasitized host (278 vs 286), female body length (1.334 vs 1.351mm), hind-tibia length (0.322 vs 0.324 mm), number of mature oocytes in the ovarioles (171 vs 187) and percentages of emerged offspring (99.8 vs 99.1%), or even better based on parasitism rate (94.4 vs 88.9%), offspring developmental time (16.0 vs 16.9 days) and percentage of female offspring (97.1 vs 91.3%). Flight performance testing indicated that young C. cunea adults emerged from T. molitor had a similar percentage of actively flying wasps (76.9 vs 72.9%) and a lower percentage of inactive wasps (2.3 vs 10.6%) when compared to those reared from A. pernyi. Given the remarkable adaptability of C. cunea and the wide availability of T. molitor as a common resource insect worldwide, this Eurasian parasitoid could be mass-reared on T. molitor to improve the biological control of this invasive pest in its invaded regions.