Optimal conditions for diapause survival of Aprostocetus fukutai, an egg parasitoid for biological control of Anoplophora chinensis.
Aprostocetus fukutai is a specialist egg parasitoid of the citrus longhorned beetle Anoplophora chinensis, a high-risk invasive pest of hardwood trees. The parasitoid overwinters as diapausing mature larvae within the host egg and emerges in early summer in synchrony with the egg-laying peak of A. chinensis. This study investigated the parasitoid's diapause survival in parasitized host eggs that either remained in potted trees under semi-natural conditions in southern France or were removed from the wood and held at four different humidities (44, 75, 85-93 and 100% RH) at 11°C or four different temperature regimes (2, 5, 10 and 12.5°C) at 100% RH in the laboratory. The temperature regimes reflect overwintering temperatures across the parasitoid's geographical distribution in its native range. Results show that the parasitoid resumed its development to the adult stage at normal rearing conditions (22°C, 100% RH, 14L:10D) after 6- or 7-months cold chilling at both the semi-natural and laboratory conditions. It had a low survival rate (36.7%) on potted plants due to desiccation or tree wound defense response. No parasitoids survived at 44% RH, but survival rate increased with humidity, reaching the highest (93.7%) at 100% RH. Survival rate also increased from 21.0% at 2°C to 82.8% at 12.5°C. Post-diapause developmental time decreased with increased humidity or temperature. There was no difference in the lifetime fecundity of emerged females from 2 and 12.5°C. These results suggest that 100% RH and 12.5°C are the most suitable diapause conditions for laboratory rearing of this parasitoid.