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Effects of cold storage on the biological characteristics of Microplitis prodeniae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

  • Z. Yan (a1) (a2), J.J. Yue (a1) (a2), C. Bai (a2), Z.Q. Peng (a2) and C.H. Zhang (a1)...


The endoparasitoid Microplitis prodeniae Rao and Chandry is an important potential augmentative biological control agent for lepidopteran pests of vegetables and tobacco. However, cold storage of pupae is required to ensure that sufficient parasitoids are available when they are needed in the field. In this study, pupae were maintained at 0, 4 or 10°C for 5–50 days after which the adults were evaluated for emergence, pre-emergence period, sex ratio, female longevity, oviposition period, and fecundity. Cold storage did not affect the pre-emergence period or proportion of females; however, there was a significant reduction in emergence, female longevity, oviposition period, and fecundity with increased exposure to cold. The pre-emergence period was approximately 5 days, and approximately 50% of the emergent parasitoids were females. A cold storage regime of 10 days at 10°C had no effect on the parasitoids and adult emergence was greater than 50% even after 20 days at 10°C. There was no carryover of the cold treatment from parental to F1 and F2 generations. Thus, M. prodeniae can be stockpiled for field release by exposing the pupae to a cold regime and subsequently holding them for adult emergence at 28°C.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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