Applied Entomology and Zoology

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 433–446 | Cite as

Polyphagous koinobiosis: the biology and biocontrol potential of a braconid endoparasitoid of exophytic caterpillars

  • Kaoru MaetoEmail author


Polyphagous koinobiosis might be a novel perspective to help elucidate the evolution of the physiological and ecological traits of parasitoid wasps and determine their use as biocontrol agents. The euphorine braconid Meteorus pulchricornis is a polyphagous koinobiont endoparasitoid of exophytic caterpillars from 15 families within 10 lepidopteran superfamilies. Here, the biology of this common but enigmatic parasitoid wasp is reviewed. The unique cocoon suspension system of M. pulchricornis protects it against predators during and after cocoon spinning. This structural cocoon protection method, as well as robust immune suppression mechanism, likely enables its very wide host range. In Japan, M. pulchricornis can reproduce both sexually and asexually, and the coexistence of sexual and asexual strains might be encouraged by its high polyphagy. In this review, the potential use of M. pulchricornis as a biocontrol agent is also addressed.


Cocoon suspension Euphorinae Host generalist Lepidoptera Meteorus pulchricornis Thelytoky 



I thank Kentaro Itokawa, Shunsuke Shirai, and Masaki Yamamoto for granting me the permission to use their photographs in this review. I also thank Yosuke Abe, Nguyen Ngoc Bao Chau, Shunpei Fujie, Tomohiro Fujii, Sho Furue, Jing-Je Gau, Azusa Kageyama, Naotaka Kumakawa, Soko Nakano, Takuma Nishimura, Kazuki Ogura, Keisuke Okazawa, Ayumi Takazawa, S. Shirai, Yoko Tsutsui, Hironobu Umemoto, Kouzi Yamada, Subaru Yamada, and M. Yamamoto for their valuable research assistance in my laboratory. This study was supported in part by a grant from JSPS KAKENHI (No. 17K19268).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Agricultural ScienceKobe UniversityKobeJapan

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