Spalangia endius (Walker) (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) is found to be one of the most important natural enemies of Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel (Diptera: Tephritidae) pupae in China. In this study, the influence of host pupal age on the preference for and suitability of the host by the parasitoid S. endius was determined using choice and nonchoice tests. S. endius females accepted the 1–7 d-old B. dorsalis pupae for oviposition, and their offspring developed successfully. However, the S. endius preferentially parasitized the 2-, 3-, and 4-d-old host pupae. The emergence rate of the adult progeny was not affected by the host pupal age, nor was the male body weight, male longevity, and sex ratio of the parasitoid offspring. However, the shortest development time of both male and female progeny and the greatest size and adult longevity of female progeny were observed in hosts that were ≤4 d old. Females emerged later and lived longer than males, and they weighed more than the males. Host mortality decreased as the age of the host increased for 1–7-d-old hosts. Our findings suggest that 2-, 3-, and 4-d-old B. dorsalis pupae would be the best host ages at which to rear S. endius for effective control in field releases.
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Vol. 44 • No. 3