Pseudoligosita plebeia (Perkins) (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) is a candidate biological control agent targeting the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), in California. Little is known about the biology of P. plebeia. Here we report the results of laboratory studies describing the longevity of P. plebeia adults provided alternative food resources, their ability to parasitize H. vitripennis eggs of different ages, lifetime offspring production when provided steady access to excess host eggs, and levels of mature ovarian eggs present when wasps were held without access to hosts. P. plebeia is a gregarious parasitoid, with up to six adults emerging from a single H. vitripennis egg. When provided with honey and water, water alone, or no food or water, P. plebeia adult females lived an average of 64.1, 2.3, and 2.0 d, respectively. P. plebeia were able to successfully parasitize all ages of H. vitripennis eggs (1–8 d old), with higher parasitism in younger host eggs (1–3 d old) than in older host eggs (5–7 d old). An increasing trend in offspring production was seen for P. plebeia from adult age 2–26 d followed by a decreasing trend with offspring produced up to age 75 d. P. plebeia females are at least partially synovigenic, as they contained fewer mature eggs at younger ages (1 and 3 d old) than at older ages (5, 11, 15, and 31 d old). Our results provide foundational information regarding the biology of P. plebeia useful for its further evaluation as a potential biological control agent in California.
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Vol. 105 • No. 5