Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Host plants of Phenacoccus Solenopsis (Tinsley) affect parasitism of Aenasius bambawalei (Hayat).

Abstract

Cotton mealy bug, Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a polyphagous and invasive pest of various agricultural and horticultural crops. Aenasius bambawalei (Hayat) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) is a biological control agent that provides most efficient control of this pest. Nutritional quality of P. solenopsis hosts affects the life history traits and parasitism rate of its parasitoids. No prior research reports are available on effects of different host plants reared P. solenopsis on biology of A. bambawalei at tri-trophic levels. In this study, the influence of cotton Gossypium hirsutum L., China rose Hibiscus rosasinensis L., and okra Abelmoschus esculentus L. reared P. solenopsis on various life traits of A. bombawalei as well as its host was assessed. Results showed that cotton was the most suitable host of P. solenopsis as developmental time, pre-oviposition, and oviposition periods were shortest with the highest nymphal body weight. Cotton reared nymphs were the best for rearing of parasitoid as females significantly took shorter time to reach maturity and also less duration for mummy formation with maximum parasitism. Higher rate of parasitism was positively associated with body weight of the nymphs, which was significantly greater when reared on cotton. It is concluded that cotton is the best suitable host for mass rearing of A. bambawalei in the biological control programs.