Date Published:Oct 01
Cleruchoides noackae Lin and Huber (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) is a solitary egg parasitoid of Thaumastocoris peregrinus Carpintero and Dellapé (Hemiptera: Thaumastocoridae). The parasitoid was first described in 2009 and its biology and rearing are poorly understood. A key obstacle to the use of C. noackae as a biological control agent has been the ability to consistently rear it under quarantine conditions. This study reports on a series of experiments conducted in quarantine to rear C. noackae and to examine the effects of diet on longevity, per capita reproduction, and progeny sex ratio, as well as to determine development time, and preference and suitability of host eggs of different ages. When supplemented with honey solution, the longevity of C. noackae females increased significantly by 2.4 d and that of males by 1.7 d, relative to the unfed adults. Mean per capita reproduction for the honey-fed wasps was 7.7 offspring per female, with progeny sex ratio slightly skewed toward males. Mean percentage parasitism was 32.2%. C. noackae was capable of parasitizing and completing development from oviposition to adult eclosion within 15.7 d in host eggs between 0 and 5 d old. The ability of C. noackae to parasitize a wide range of host egg ages increases the period of vulnerability of T. peregrinus to attack, increasing its potential efficacy as a biological control agent. The methods and results reported here represent a crucial step in the ongoing efforts to develop this potential biological control system.