In this study the life-history of Oomyzus sokolowskii (Kurdjimov), a parasitoid of the diamondback moth (DBM) Plutella xylostella (L.) as characterized. The life cycle, adult size, fecundity, ovigeny, parthenogenesis, host age preference and host-searching behaviour by parasitoid females were studied under laboratory conditions. Oomyzus sokolowskiiapos;s life cycle lasted 15. 6 days. Sexual dimorphism was recorded, with females being bigger than males. The species is synovigenic. The parasitism rate was significantly different between mated and unmated females, which implied that mating stimulated the behaviour of parasitism. Thelythokous parthenogenesis was not recorded. Females could parasitize all larval stages and pre-pupae, but the parasitism rate was higher in the fourth larval stages of DBM. The host-seeking behaviour was influenced by host spatial patchiness; O. sokolowskii females performed better when they were placed in a 7 cm3 oviposition box. This study gives a better understanding of the life history traits of O. sokolowskii, which has been neglected in the biological control of DBM in tropical regions. The study suggests the use of O. sokolowski as a promising candidate for the management of DBM in cabbage in combination with other IPM strategies.
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Vol. 21 • No. 2