Host preference of Xanthopimpla stemmator (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) and its reproductive performance on selected African lepidopteran stem borers
Gitau, C. W.
Ngi-Song, A. J.
Overholt, W. A.
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The Asian pupal parasitoid, Xanthopimpla stemmator Thunberg, was imported into East Africa as a classical biological agent of lepidopteran cereal stem borers. Preference of X. stemmator females for four common borers of maize and sorghum; the crambid Chilo partellus (Swinhoe), the pyralid, Eldana saccharina Walker, and the noctuids, Busseola fusca Fuller and Sesamia calamistis Hampson, was investigated. Pre-adult experience of X. stemmator females did not influence choice of host. In dual choice tests, more B. fusca were attacked than E. saccharina, while E. saccharina were attacked more than Ch. partellus. Life table studies on three of the hosts revealed that the intrinsic rate of increase was highest when X. stemmator was reared on S. calamistis. Net reproductive rates, mean generation times and doubling times were not different between hosts. Results suggest that X. stemmator can be successfully reared on the three stem borer species and released in areas where any combination of the three hosts occurs.