Biology and life table parameters of Metaphycus marensis Chirinos & Kondo, 2019, an encyrtid parasitoid of guava cottony scale in Venezuela
The guava cottony scale, Capulinia linarosae (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) is an important pest of guava, Psidium guajava, in Venezuela and northern Colombia. Metaphycus marensis (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) is a new primary parasitoid species recently described associated with this pest. Studies were conducted on oogenesis, life cycle, survival, daily fecundity and life table parameters of Metaphycus marensis Chirinos & Kondo (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae): intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm), generation time (T) and net reproductive rate (Ro). Females of M. marensis are synovigenic and this parasitoid goes through four larval instars and completes its life cycle in about 12.7 days. Survival was of type I, where mortality was initially detected by encapsulation of eggs and larvae. Metaphycus marensis was able to multiply its population 28.7 times (Ro) with rm of 0.242 in 13.9 days (T). The short generation time of the parasitoid in relation to its eriococcid host could represent a desirable attribute as a natural enemy. However, the low fecundity and the encapsulation by the host must be analyzed through field experiments in order to evaluate its effectiveness as a biological control agent for C. linarosae.
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