Comparative evaluation of Cotesia flavipes and C. sesamiae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) for the management of Chilo partellus (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Kenya
Kairu, E. W.
Sallam, M. N.
Overholt, W. A.
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Cotesia flavipes Cameron, a gregarious larval endoparasitoid native to the Indo-Australian region, was imported from Pakistan and released in Kenya in 1993 for management of the exotic stemborer, Chilo partellus (Swinhoe). Recent reports confirmed the successful establishment of the parasitoid in three locations in Kenya and in northern Tanzania. Functional response studies on this parasitoid and an indigenous congener, Cotesia sesamiae (Cameron), indicated that C. flavipes had a higher searching ability and attacked more larvae when Chilo partellus was the host. When a native stemborer, Sesamia calamistis Hampson, was the host, there was no significant difference between numbers attacked by both parasitoids. Numerical response studies showed that Cotesia flavipes produced more total progeny and female progeny per female parasitoid on Chilo partellus than did Cotesia sesamiae. No significant difference in progeny production was detected between the two parasitoids on S. calamistis. Functional and numerical responses tested in the laboratory gave the same ranking of the two parasitoids on the two hosts as in the field. This study suggests that Cotesia flavipes is a more efficient parasitoid and it is anticipated that it will contribute to the control of both exotic and native stemborers in Kenya.