The reproductive performance of the parasitoid Habrobracon hebetor (Say) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) against the moths Anagasta kuehniella Zeller and Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) was studied in the laboratory. The analysis was based on the comparison of parasitoid’s life table parameters related to those of its hosts at various conditions of host density (daily supply of 1, 5, 15, and 30 full-grown host larvae). The estimated parameters were the intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm), the net reproductive rate (Ro), the mean generation time (G), the finite capacity of increase (λ), the gross reproductive rate (GRR), the doubling time (DT), the reproductive value (Vx), and the life expectancy (ex). The rm of H. hebetor proved to be significantly higher than those of its hosts at all host densities. When only one host per day was supplied, the wasp had the lowest reproductive potential, whereas it was maximized when 15 hosts per day were exposed. Maximum values of Ro and GRR were obtained at densities ≥15 host larvae per day. Any increase in host supply above this threshold did not cause significant changes in life table parameters. Variation of rm as a function of host density can be described by the linear regression. Sex ratio of wasp progeny (females/total) ranged from 0.36 to 0.42, irrespective of host density or species. Newly emerged adults recorded maximum ex and Vx. The results of this study can be used to improve mass rearing programs and inoculative release applications of H. hebetor against moth pests of stored products.
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Vol. 101 • No. 3