Olalekan J. Soyelu
Journal of Insect Science 13 (86), 1-11, (1 September 2013) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.013.8601
KEYWORDS: beebread, development time, feeding response, longevity, parasitism
The braconid Cotesia plutellae (Kurdjumov) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is a major solitary, larval endoparasitoid of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). The impact of dietary protein was investigated in the laboratory by comparing performance of C. plutellae on honey, which is commonly used to rear the parasitoid, to that on a novel diet made of honey and protein-rich beebread. Cotesia plutellae was highly stimulated by honey and honey-beebread, with a feeding response exceeding 95%, a level that is comparable with its responses to fructose, glucose, and sucrose. The ability of honey-beebread to support host-parasitoid colonies was also comparable with that of honey. However, parasitoids raised on honey-beebread suppressed diamondback moths in rearing cages 3 weeks before the honey-fed wasps. The development time of C. plutellae reared on honey with or without beebread showed no significant difference, but adult wasps lived longer on honey-beebread. Mean developmental periods from oviposition to pupation and from pupation to adult emergence were 8 and 6 days, respectively. Adult wasps raised on honey-beebread outlived their conspecifics that were raised on honey by at least 4 days. Honey-beebread showed potential as a good food for rearing C. plutellae in the laboratory, and its benefit in parasitoid production is discussed.