Specificity in host instar selection, parasitism and developmental time of Acerophagus papayae (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) on Paracoccus marginatus.
Acerophagus papayae an introduced solitary koinobiont endoparasitoid, is the efficient parasitoid for the suppression of papaya mealybug Paracoccus marginatus. Host instars preference, parasitic potential, emergence rate and developmental time of A. papayae on P. marginatus of five different host plants like papaya (Carica papaya), mulberry (Morus alba), brinjal (Solanum melongena), cassava (Manihot esculenta) and congress grass (Parthenium hysterophorus) were studied. The study revealed that A. papayae preferred to parasitize all stages of P. marginatus. The highest parasitism was recorded in second and third instar and lowest in adult and first instars of P. marginatus. Mealybugs from papaya and mulberry are highly susceptible to parasitisation than parthenium, tapioca and brinjal. Further high adult parasitoid emergence was recorded from mealybugs on papaya.