The effect of temperature and humidity on the bionomics of six African egg parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)
Mueke, J. M.
Overholt, W. A.
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The life table statistics of six native Kenyan species/strains of Trichogramma and Trichogrammatoidea were established using a factitious host Corcyra cephalonica, Stainton (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), at eight different temperatures (10, 15, 20, 25, 28, 30, 32 and 35°C) and two humidity levels (40–50 and 70–80%). The objective was to select insects with superior attributes for augmentative release against lepidopteran pests in horticultural crops. Both temperature and humidity affected developmental time and life table parameters of the parasitoids but temperature played a more critical role. Developmental time was inversely related to temperature. The intrinsic and finite rates of increase increased with temperature up to 30°C. Both net reproduction rate and intrinsic rate of increase were higher at the lower humidity. Temperature inversely affected generation time of parasitoid strains regardless of the relative humidity. Two strains of Trichogramma sp. nr. mwanzai collected from both low and medium altitudes and Trichogrammatoidea sp. nr. lutea from the mid-altitudes, were better adapted to both low and high temperatures than the other strains, as indicated by the high intrinsic and net reproductive rates, at both humidity levels. These three strains appear to be promising candidates for augmentation biocontrol against the African bollworm Helicoverpa armigera in Kenya.