The reproductive strategy of the gregarious parasitoid, Pteromalus puparum (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)
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Pteromalus puparum is a gregarious parasitoid of many butterfly pupae. Adult size, mortality, and sex ratio of P. puparum, as a parasitoid of Papilio xuthus, were unit weight of the host. Effects of female size on fecundity, wing load, and longevity were also examined.
The highest total weight of progeny from the host was attained when the number of eggs per gram of the host was approximately 150. Positive correlations were observed between the size of the females and their fecundity and wing load. The maximum longevity of the female kept with honey but without hosts was attained when the initial number of parasitoids per g of the host was 150.
Considering the total fecundity of all female progeny, the reproductively most efficient number of eggs to be deposited per g of the host was estimated to be approximately 300. However, as shortage of food for the adult females strongly affects their fecundity, the reproductively most efficient number of eggs to be deposited per g of the host was about 70 when the adult female progeny was not provided with food.
The optimal number of eggs to be deposited when the emale oviposits in the host under field conditions is discussed.
KeywordsField Condition Adult Female Total Weight Optimal Number Unit Weight
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