Registered users receive a variety of benefits including the ability to customize email alerts, create favorite journals list, and save searches.
Please note that a BioOne web account does not automatically grant access to full-text content. An institutional or society member subscription is required to view non-Open Access content.
Contact email@example.com with any questions.
The environmental compatibility of a biological control agent is an important aspect of successful reduction of agricultural pests. Temperature fluctuations during the day have a strong influence on the performance of laboratory-reared parasitoids. In field conditions, Trichogramma (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) wasps are exposed to variable temperatures during their development, which has a significant impact on their ability to control pest species. A simulation-based study was undertaken to evaluate the impact of variations in daily temperature on the pest-control abilities of female Trichogramma and their immature progenies. Considering the temperature variability of different agricultural zones of India, five temperature levels ranging from 20°C to 40°C were selected for daily short-term heat shocks to the immature progenies and egglaying females of two major Trichogramma species. Intensity and frequency of thermal shocks showed inverse relationships with adult emergence, fecundity, and longevity of T. chilonis and T. poliae. Parasitoid pupae were found to be more tolerant to temperature variations than eggs and larvae. Fecundity and longevity of parasitoids were significantly reduced under high temperature shocks to egg-laying females. Sex ratio was significantly affected by high temperature shocks to the immature and adult stages. However, the effect was more severe in eggs. A female-biased sex ratio was apparent in both parasitoids throughout the experiment. Overall, daily short-term temperature shocks to different developmental stages of parasitoids showed radical effects on emergence, fecundity, longevity, and sex ratio of the progeny. Therefore, releases of parasitoids should be conducted when they are in their pupal stages during the morning and evening in order to achieve their highest effectiveness for pest management.