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Scientific Reports

04 March 2019

Scientific Reports
© © 2019 Springer Nature Publishing AG
Optimized pupal age of Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) enhanced mass rearing efficiency of Chouioia cunea Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae)


Chouioia cunea Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) has been widely used for biological control of the fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Drury) (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), in China. The yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), an important resource insect species distributed worldwide, is considered to be a potential alternative host for mass rearing of C. cunea to the Chinese oak silkworm, Antheraea pernyi (Guerin-Meneville) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae), which is currently used. In this study, we investigated the effects of host age on C. cunea mass rearing by measuring parasitism, development and adult fertility of C. cunea on T. molitor pupae of different ages. The results showed no significant differences in the percentage of parasitized hosts and developmental time of C. cunea in pupae of different ages. However, the number of C. cunea adults (137.2–154.7 adults per host) that emerged from 0, 1, and 2-day-old pupae was significantly higher than that from 4-day-old pupae. The lowest percentages of unemerged adults were found in 2-day-old (1.2%) and 3-day-old (1.4%) pupae, which were significantly lower than that of 4-day-old pupae (10.3%). The emergence of adult females from 0 to 2-day-old pupae (120.2–142.3 per pupa) was significantly higher than that from 4-day-old hosts (64.6). Adult females emerging from 2-day-old pupae carried significantly more eggs (258.2 eggs/female) than those from 0 and 1-day-old pupae (178.4–178.9 eggs/female). Our findings indicated that 2-day-old pupae of T. molitor were most suitable to rear C. cunea. Overall, this research provided valuable information to optimize pupae for the mass rearing of C. cunea on host T. molitor.

Li, T.-H., Che, P.-F., Yang, X., Song, L.-W., Zhang, C.-R., Benelli, G., Desneux, N., and Zang, L.-S. (2019). Optimized pupal age of Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) enhanced mass rearing efficiency of Chouioia cunea Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Scientific Reports 9, 3229. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39505-7

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