Factors influencing the dispersal of a native parasitoid, Phasgonophora sulcata, attacking the emerald ash borer: implications for biological control
High parasitism by a native parasitoid, Phasgonophora sulcata Westwood (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae), has been reported on emerald ash borer (hereafter EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), in North America. Use of this parasitoid in an augmentative biological control program has been proposed to slow the spread of EAB, yet information is lacking on key aspects of this parasitoid’s dispersal. We document the flight capacity and walking activity of P. sulcata, its potential fecundity, and describe how age, body size, temperature, and time of day affect these parameters. Wasp flight capacity, measured using flight mills, increased with temperature and decreased with age. Unexpectedly, age and body size did not affect wasp walking activity, and we saw no relationship between walking activity and flight capacity. Older wasps had lower potential fecundity than younger wasps. These results suggest that P. sulcata should be released as pupae near EAB-infested ash trees to improve efficacy and potential biological control success.
KeywordsAgrilus planipennis Flight capacity Flight mills Walking activity Wasp age Fecundity
We thank C. MacQuarrie and G. Jones for help with collection and rearing, R. Nott for constructing and connecting the flight mills to LabVIEW Full Development System software, and J. Hu for help with dissections. This work was funded by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, University of Toronto Fellowship, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Invasive Species Centre.
JMG, JDA, and SMS conceived and designed the experiment; JMG conducted the experiment and analyzed the data; and all authors contributed to writing the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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