Journal of Insect Science 7 (19), 1-7, (1 April 2007) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.007.1901
KEYWORDS: augmentative release, Chilo partellus, biological control
The parasitoid, Cotesia flavipes (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), was introduced for biological control of the stemborer, Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), in eastern and southern African countries. The parasitoid became firmly established in Ethiopia, with varying density and distribution in various regions of the country indicating that there are factors regulating the success of the parasitoid. From previous studies, it was known that the population of the parasitoid released, the type of host, and temperature highly affect some of the biological parameters of the parasitoid. The current studies were undertaken to understand the individual and interactive effect of temperature and relative humidity on the longevity and fecundity of C. flavipes. The study was conducted on C. flavipes collected from the Melkassa Agricultural Research Center Experimental Field, Ethiopia. C. flavipes was reared in the laboratory on C. partellus feeding on pieces of sorghum stem. The longevity experiment was conducted at 10, 20, 30 and 40 °C, while the fecundity experiment was conducted at 20, 25, 28 and 30 °C. For both experiments 40–50%, 60–70% and 80–90% relative humidity regimes were used. The results obtained indicate that the interactive effect of temperature and relative humidity significantly affected the longevity, the number of oocytes, and fecundity of C. flavipes implying that the two factors play an important role in the success of the parasitoid as a biocontrol agent against C. partellus. The results obtained suggests the importance of the selection of target release sites for maximum efficiency of the parasitoid, which can have a positive impact on the on-going augmentative release of C. flavipes in Ethiopia.