, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 661–670 | Cite as

Seasonal and biological interactions between the parasitoid, Aenasius arizonensis (Girault) and its host, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley on cotton

  • Prasun Karmakar
  • P.S. SheraEmail author


Aenasius arizonensis (Girault) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) is an important solitary endoparasitoid of mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). Studies on seasonal and biological interactions between host and parasitoid are important to optimize the mass production and field release of high-quality females. We investigated the influence of different crop seasons viz., pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon and host stages viz., three nymphal instars (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and adult stage of P. solenopsis on the development, longevity, fecundity and sex ratio of its parasitoid, A. arizonensis. A. arizonensis female parasitized all life stages of its host except the 1st instar nymphs. Only males emerged from parasitized 2nd instar nymphs, while the sex ratio in the later host instars was strongly female-biased. The adult host stage was most suitable for A. arizonensis in terms of shorter development time, while the 3rd instar nymphal stage was most suitable with respect to higher fecundity, proportion of adults emerged and more females in the progeny. Among different seasons, post-monsoon season (September–October) with temperature (25 to 29 °C) and relative humidity (68 to 73%) was most suitable for the overall fitness of the parasitoid. The findings of this study have implications in designing mass rearing of this parasitoid and devising an effective biological control strategy for P. solenopsis on cotton.


Aenasius arizonensis. Phenacoccus solenopsis. Parasitism. Development. Fitness. Season 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EntomologyPunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia

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