Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Optimizing photoperiod, exposure time, and host-to-parasitoid ratio for mass-rearing of Telenomus remus, an egg parasitoid of Spodoptera frugiperda, on Spodoptera litura eggs.

Abstract

Telenomus remus (Nixon) is a dominant egg parasitoid of the destructive agricultural pest Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), and so is used in augmentative biocontrol programs in several countries. An optimized mass-rearing system is essential to produce biological control products in a timely and cost-effective manner. In this study, the photoperiod, host egg:parasitoid ratio, and exposure time were evaluated to identify the optimal rearing conditions for T. remus on the alternative host Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) eggs. Results showed that increasing photoperiod above 12L:12D remarkably improved parasitoid progeny yield and life table parameters. Overlong photoperiods shortened female longevity, but within acceptable limits. There was a significant negative correlation between parasitism rate and host egg:parasitoid ratio under exposure times of 12 and 36 h, but not 24 h. Percentage of female progeny increased significantly along with increasing the host egg:parasitoid ratio. A significant negative relationship between the number of emerged adults per egg and the host egg:parasitoid ratio was observed at an exposure time of 36 h. It was concluded that T. remus may be mass-reared most efficiently on S. litura eggs using a photoperiod of more than 12L:12D, a 14-20:1 host egg:parasitoid ratio, and an exposure time of 24 h. These findings can be used to produce T. remus more efficiently and at lower costs.