Classical biological control of the brown citrus aphid Toxoptera citricida Kirkaldy in Florida has involved the release of Lipolexis scutellaris Mackauer. Lysiphlebus testaceipes Cresson is already present in Florida and also parasitizes T. citricida. Because parasitoid–parasitoid interactions may affect the establishment of a newly introduced parasitoid species, intra- and interspecific larval interactions of both parasitoids were studied in the laboratory using T. citricida reared on citrus. Five time intervals were allowed between successive oviposition opportunities. Early developmental times were determined for both parasitoids: eggs of L. testaceipes and L. scutellaris hatched after 54.3 and 61.7 h, while molt to second instar occurred after 73.3 and 87.1 h, respectively, after oviposition at 22°C. At intervals <12 h, both parasitoids had a greater tendency to multiparasitize than to superparasitize, and the tendency to superparasitize or multiparasitize decreased with an increase in time between successive oviposition opportunities. Of the 10 interspecific interactions studied, 5 produced a winning wasp species, 3 of which could be explained by the hypothesis of physical conflict. A combination of development time, age of competing larvae, and oviposition sequence were responsible for the outcomes observed. Neither parasitoid proved to be intrinsically superior when interspecific competition occurs in second- and third-instar T. citricida, indicating there is no reason to suggest that they cannot coexist in Florida citrus groves.
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Vol. 96 • No. 3