Eur. J. Entomol. 109 (1): 15-20, 2012 | 10.14411/eje.2012.003

Effect of host egg age on preference, development and arrestment of Telenomus remus (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae)

Maria Fernanda Gomes Villalba PEÑAFLOR, Mariana Montagner De Moraes SARMENTO, Cherre Sade BEZERRA DA SILVA, Andrea Graf WERNEBURG, José Maurício Simões BENTO
Depto de Entomologia e Acarologia, Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz", ESALQ/USP, Laboratório de Ecologia Química e Comportamento de Insetos, Av Pádua Dias, 11 CP 09, Piracicaba-SP, 13418-900, Brasil; e-mail: jmsbento@esalq.usp.br

Age of host eggs can be a limiting factor for egg parasitoids. It is expected that old eggs are less preferred by egg parasitoids, which can discriminate between eggs of different ages by using chemical cues. The objective of this study was to determine the preference, development and arrestment of Telenomus remus Nixon (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) parasitizing Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) eggs of different ages. This egg parasitoid preferred to parasitize 1- and 2-day-old eggs rather than 3-day-old eggs in choice and no-choice assays. However, although the percentage emergence of parasitoids is significantly lower from 2- and 3-day-old eggs, the sex ratio and developmental time are unaffected. Parasitoids spent longer searching substrates impregnated with extracts of 1- and 2-day old eggs than 3-day-old eggs. Our results reveal that T. remus is able to distinguish the most suitable (1-day-old) from the least suitable (3-day-old) host eggs, but unable to recognize the unsuitability of intermediate aged eggs. Egg arrestants may be responsible for the preference of T. remus for ovipositing in 1- and 2-day old eggs.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Scelionidae, Telenomus remus, egg parasitoid, Noctuidae, Spodoptera frugiperda, fall armyworm, host selection, egg age discrimination, behaviour, developmental biology

Received: June 14, 2011; Accepted: July 29, 2011; Published: January 3, 2012

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