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Functional responses of three candidate Asian larval parasitoids evaluated for classical biological control of Drosophila suzukii

Wang Xingeng, Biondi Antonio, Daane Kent M.
Journal of economic entomology 2019 v.20 no.20 pp. 1-8
Asobara, Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila suzukii, Figitidae, Leptopilina, artificial diets, biological control, females, fruit crops, hosts, insect control, insect larvae, natural enemies, parasitism, parasitoids, quarantine, Europe, North America, South America
Drosophila suzukii has become a key invasive pest of soft- and thin-skinned fruit crops in its invaded regions in Europe and Americas, where locally-occurring natural enemies are generally not effective for the suppression of this pest or are largely absent, such as larval-attacking parasitoids. As a part of systematic evaluations of candidate agents for classical biological control of this invasive pest, we evaluated the functional responses of three Asian-native larval hymenopteran parasitoids, Asobara japonica (Braconidae), Ganaspis brasiliensis and Leptopilina japonica (both Figitidae) to D. suzukii or D. melanogaster (A. japonica only) larvae. Host larval densities were 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 larvae per test for A. japonica and 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36 or 42 larvae per test for G. brasiliensis or L. japonica. Host larvae were provided in standard artificial diet in tubes for a 24-h exposure to individual female parasitoids under the quarantine conditions (23°C). All three parasitoids showed a linear (type I) functional response to the tested host densities. Host species (for A. japonica only) did not affect the number of hosts parasitized or the functional response. Asobara japonica was more efficient than either figitid in terms of the searching efficiency, while L. japonica performed slightly better than G. brasiliensis under the tested conditions. The results are discussed with respect to the selection of parasitoid species to be released in North America and Europe to suppress D. suzukii.