The mating attributes in relating to parasitism and progeny production capacity of the parasitoid Habrobracon hebetor Say, using Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) as a host, were investigated in laboratory studies. The results indicated that 100% of the host larvae were parasitized by different individuals of H. hebetor females that were mated by the same male. Mating duration did not differ significantly among different successive matings with different females and had no effect on the rate of parasitism. In general, pairs that had their copulation early after emergence exhibited the maximum rate of parasitism as compared to delayed intervals. Moreover, the age of the H. hebetor females had no effect on the percentage of parasitism. The maximum parasitism percentage was recorded for the H. hebetor individuals that had been developed from the age group of the 6-d-old adults. The male: female ratios did not differ significantly among the female age groups. The percentage of parasitism clearly indicated a decrease with the increase of the male: female ratio. Overall, the results of the present work can be further utilized in mass rearing and release of H. hebetor in biological control programs in stored product protection.
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Vol. 113 • No. 3