Aphidius colemani Viereck (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) is a pan-tropical, broadly oligophagous, solitary endoparasitoid of many aphids of economic importance. Here, we review current knowledge about this important biological control agent, with a special focus on the physical and chemical cues triggering mating and host-seeking behavior. First, we focus on femaleborne olfactory cues evoking courtship in A. colemani males, as well as on the relationship between male mating performance and quality of the host species. Second, we examine how A. colemani females forage for hosts and assess their suitability, using both aphid-borne kairomones and host-related physical cues. Third, we review A. colemani-based biological control approaches, outlining how knowledge of its reproductive behavioral ecology may enhance biological control of aphid pests. Concepts for future biocontrol programs are outlined, including 1) use of sex attractant dispensers for monitoring, 2) mass-rearing optimization based on knowledge of mate-finding strategies and sexually selected traits, 3) deployment of aphid-borne foraging kairomones as field lures to attract parasitoids into infested agro-ecosystems, 4) use of sensitization or associative learning practices to optimize efficacy of mass-reared wasps.
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1 December 2014
Cues Triggering Mating and Host-Seeking Behavior in the Aphid Parasitoid Aphidius colemani (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae): Implications for Biological Control
Russell H. Messing,
Mark G. Wright,
Nickolas G. Kavallieratos,