The tachinid larval parasitoid Sturmiopsis parasitica (Curran) has a wide distribution in eastern, southern and West Africa where it attacks several species of cereal stemborers. Its development on Busseola fusca Fuller (four populations), Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) and Sesamia calamistis Hampson was evaluated in Zimbabwe in the laboratory. The parasitoid's larviposition patterns and ways to induce its early emergence from diapausing host larvae inside which it overwinters were also studied. Irrespective of the inoculation method used, the four B. fusca populations were equally suitable for parasitoid development. Chilo partellus was a partially suitable host while S. calamistis was completely unsuitable. Mated female parasitoids commenced larviposition at eight days after mating, with a peak being attained on day 15. Placing field-collected diapausing B. fusca larvae in fresh maize stems or in moistened dry stems could bring forward the emergence of S. parasitica from diapausing hosts. The implications of the current findings on the suitability of S. parasitica as a redistribution candidate in Africa are discussed.
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Vol. 22 • No. 4