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PEREIRA, Fabricio F et al. Progeny of Palmistichus elaeisis Delvare & LaSalle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) parasitising pupae of Bombyx mori L. (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) of different ages. Neotrop. entomol. [online]. 2009, vol.38, n.5, pp. 660-664. ISSN 1519-566X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-566X2009000500016.
Palmistichus elaeisis Delvare & LaSalle is a natural pupal parasitoid of eucalyptus defoliator lepidopterans and is considered a promising biocontrol agent. However, the development of efficient rearing techniques for this natural enemy are first required before it can be used in biocontrol programs. Bombyx mori L. pupae are potential alternative hosts for this parasitoid mass rearing, and they are easy to rear. Therefore, we investigated the most suitable host age and the effects of parasitoid age on progeny production of P. elaeisis. B. mori pupae, 24h-, 48h-, 72h- or 96h-old were exposed to P. elaeisis females of similar age. The duration of the life cycle (egg-adult) of P. elaeisis was not affected by the age of the parasitizing female; however, the host age affected parasitoid development. The best parasitization was obtained for 72h- to 96h-old parasitoid females when offered to 48h- to 72h-old host pupae, allowing the synchronized rearing of a large number of P. elaeisis offspring.
Keywords : Insecta; biological control; pupal parasitoid; host age.