Fecundity, host stage preferences and the effects of temperature on Pnigalio minio (Hymenoptera: eulophidae), a parasitoid of Phyllocnistis citrella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae)

Rita E. Duncan, Jorge E. Pena


The biology of the eulophid parasitoid Pnigalio minio (Walker) was studied in the laboratory and field in Florida on the gracillarid Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton. P. minio is a polyphagous ectoparasitoid of late instar larvae and prepupae. Oviposition in the field was highest (72.7%) on third instar P. citrella, with the remainder on the prepupa. Percent superparasitism in the field was 6.25 ± 4.35%. Offspring sex ratio from females provided with males was 64.9+3.9% males and 35.1 ±3.9% females. Laboratory studies showed that females provided with males began oviposition 3 to 6 days after emergence and continued ovipositing to 38.2 ± 6.5 days after emergence. Females laid a mean of 234 + 58.9 eggs each, and female longevity reached 46.8 ± 9.2 days at 27 ±1 C, 80-90% RH. Longevity of males was lower, with a mean of 7.3 ± 0.6 days. Host feeding or stinging without oviposition killed 92.3 ± 16.6 P. citrella larvae per female. Unmated females produced only male progeny. Laboratory studies showed that P. minio development was shortest (8.6 ± 0.2 days) at 30 C and increased as temperature decreased (24.9 ± 0.4 days at 18 C). A brief description of the parasitoid egg, larva and pupa is provided.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283