Glyptapanteles flavicoxis (Marsh) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is a gregarious larval parasitoid of the Indian gypsy moth Lymantria obfuscata (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), that is believed to have potential for inundative releases against gypsy moth populations, because it can be reared in large numbers with few hosts. Unfortunately, sex ratios in laboratory reared G. flavicoxis are usually male-biased, hindering efforts to mass release this species for biological control by making the production of females costly. Because parental age at time of mating is known to affect the sex ratio in some Braconidae, we crossed haploid males and virgin females at 0, 1, 4, 9, and 16 d old with at least 10 trials for each of the 25 combinations. Numbers and sex ratios of progeny produced by females each day were recorded. Both progeny and sex ratios (percentage of females) among progeny produced by ovipositing females of G. flavicoxis decreased markedly over time, so only the first days production need be used in mass rearing. The reduction in the proportion and numbers of females among progeny as females aged is consistent with sperm depletion. Approximately 30% of females in all age classes mated to newly emerged males (day 0) produced all male progeny, whereas only 10–15% of those mated to older males failed to produce any daughters. When crosses with only male progeny were excluded from the analysis, females mated to males 1 d old had higher sex ratios in progeny than those mated to males in other age classes. In addition, females mated the day that they emerged tended to have progeny with the highest sex ratios.
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Vol. 101 • No. 4