Evaluating the potential of using Spodoptera litura eggs for mass-rearing Telenomus remus, a promising egg parasitoid of Spodoptera frugiperda.
Although Telenomus remus, a promising parasitoid of Spodoptera frugiperda, had been successfully reared on the eggs of Corcyra cephalonica in some countries, reports from China have argued that it is infeasible. Notably, studies from China have indicated that Spodoptera litura eggs could be a candidate host. Therefore, to further evaluate the potential of using S. litura eggs as hosts, we compared the development and parasitism of T. remus on the eggs of S. frugiperda and S. litura at temperatures between 20-32°C. Our results showed that T. remus developed successfully on both host eggs at all of the tested temperatures, and the developmental duration and thermal requirements at each stage were similar between the two host species. The number of parasitized eggs was greater for S. litura than for S. frugiperda. Meanwhile, the emergence rate exceeded 86.6%, and it was significantly higher for S. litura than that for S. frugiperda, except at 29°C. This study is the first time estimating the thermal requirements of T. remus at each stage. Moreover, we also recorded the morphological characteristics of T. remus at each stage. Our results demonstrate that S. litura eggs are more suitable than S. frugiperda eggs as an alternative host for the mass-rearing of T. remus in China. Understanding the thermal requirements and biological parameters contributes greatly to predicting the generation time and providing a reference for the mass-rearing and storage of the parasitoid.