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Bracon wasps for ecological pest control–a laboratory experiment

Lettmann, Jessica ; Mody, Karsten ; Kursch-Metz, Tore-Aliocha ; Blüthgen, Nico ; Wehner, Katja (2021):
Bracon wasps for ecological pest control–a laboratory experiment. (Publisher's Version)
In: PeerJ, 9, PeerJ, Inc., ISSN 2167-8359,
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00019426,
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Item Type: Article
Origin: Secondary publication via sponsored Golden Open Access
Status: Publisher's Version
Title: Bracon wasps for ecological pest control–a laboratory experiment
Language: English
Abstract:

Biological control of pest insects by natural enemies may be an effective, cheap and environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic pesticides. The cosmopolitan parasitoid wasp species Bracon brevicornis Wesmael and B. hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) use lepidopteran species as hosts, including insect pests like Ephestia kuehniella or Ostrinia nubilalis. Here, we compare the reproductive success of both Bracon species on E. kuehniella in a laboratory experiment. We asked (1) how the reproductive success on a single host larva changes with temperature, (2) how it changes with temperature when more host larvae are present and (3) how temperature and availability of host larvae influence the efficacy of Bracon species as biological control agents. In general, differences between B. brevicornis and B. hebetor have been small. For rearing both Bracon species in the laboratory on one host larva, a temperature between 20–27 °C seems appropriate to obtain the highest number of offspring with a female-biased sex ratio. Rearing the braconid wasps on more than one host larva revealed a higher number of total offspring but less offspring per host larva on average. Again, highest numbers of offspring hatched at 27 °C and the sex ratio was independent from temperature. Although no parasitoids hatched at 12 °C and only few at 36 °C, host larvae were still paralyzed. The efficacy of B. brevicornis was higher than 80% at all numbers of host larvae presented at all temperatures while the efficacy of B. hebetor was less than 80% at 12 °C and 27 °C at low numbers of host larvae presented. In conclusion, practitioners can use either B. brevicornis or B. hebetor at low and high temperatures and at varying host densities to achieve high pest control efficacy.

Journal or Publication Title: PeerJ
Journal volume: 9
Publisher: PeerJ, Inc.
Collation: 19 Seiten
Classification DDC: 500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik > 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Divisions: 10 Department of Biology > Ecological Networks
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2021 12:22
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 12:22
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00019426
Corresponding Links:
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-194262
Additional Information:

Keywords: Biological pest control, Braconidae, Host number, Oviposition behavior, Sex ratio, Temperature dependence

URI: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/19426
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