Parasitism of lepidopteran defoliators of urban plants by Palmistichus elaeisis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae)

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2018-09-01

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Florida Entomological Soc

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Heraclides anchisiades capys (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae), Citioica anthonilis (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae), and Methona themisto (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) are tree and shrub pests commonly found in urban areas. The parasitism capacity of Palmistichus elaeisis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) was evaluated on pupae of these lepidopteran pests as well as on 2 commonly used alternative hosts, Anticarsia gemmatalis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). The number of parasitoids produced per mg of host pupal biomass was significantly greater on H. anchisiades capys and T. molitor compared with the other 3 lepidopteran species. The mean number of parasitoids emerging per host pupa was also significantly more on H. anchisiades capys compared with C. anthonilis, M. themisto, A. gemmatalis, or T. molitor. All host species tested in this study show the potential to be used in mass rearing P elaeisis in the laboratory. However, the lower parasitism and emergence of P. elaeisis on H. anchisiades capys pupae suggests that this lepidopteran pest may not be a suitable host for this parasitoid in the field.

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Florida Entomologist. Lutz: Florida Entomological Soc, v. 101, n. 3, p. 453-457, 2018.

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