Will Cotesia Flavipes Drive its African Homologue, Cotesia Sesamiae, to Extinction?
Kairu, E. W.
Overholt, W. A.
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This paper addresses the competitive interaction between Cotesia sesamiae, a gregarious larval endoparasitoid that is native to Africa, and Cotesia flavipes, an introduced parasitoid from southern Pakistan which has recently been established in East Africa for biological control of the exotic stemborer, Chilo partellus. The two parasitoids are morphologically similar, and they both attack medium-sized to large larval stages of gramineous lepidopteran stemborers. Based on previous work which suggested that Cotesia flavipes was competitively superior to Co. sesamiae, we speculated that Co. sesamiae may be locally extirpated in some areas of Africa. However, evidence from the field does not support this prediction. Recent field surveys in areas where both parasitoids occur, revealed that Co. sesamiae was still present, and densities were not declining. The interaction of the two parasitoids, as well as the influence of this interaction on host regulation, are discussed.