The biocontrol values of natural enemies are strongly correlated to their ability to regulate the density of their host/prey. For parasitoids, apart from parasitism and host feeding, unsuccessful host stinging (i.e., stings that were aborted, abandoned, or discontinued without oviposition or host feeding) can also negatively affect their hosts and host populations. Although several studies have reported unsuccessful host stinging and its impacts on hosts, the effects of this type of attack on host life table parameters are still unclear. In the present study, we used the parasitoid Aphelinus asychis Walker (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) and its host Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) to investigate the influence of unsuccessful host stinging on host populations under laboratory conditions at. Biological parameters of A. pisum were analyzed using an age stage, two-sex life table. The results of this study showed that unsuccessful host stinging was prevalent under laboratory conditions, and the frequency of this type of attack on third- and fourth-instar hosts was higher than the frequencies of parasitism and host feeding. Unsuccessful host stinging adversely impacted aphid populations, by decreasing aphid survival and reproduction, and impacts were greatest in hosts attacked at the first and fourth instars.These results indicate that unsuccessful host stinging enhances the biological control impact of A. asychis attacking A. pisum, and its effect on host populations should also be considered when selecting and mass rearing of parasitoids for biological control.
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Vol. 113 • No. 3