Influence of Temperature and Photoperiod on the Fecundity of Habrobracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and on the Paralysis of Host Larvae, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae).Insects. 2021 Aug 20; 12(8)I
Studies were carried out in the laboratory to understand the optimum environmental conditions at which the ectoparasitoid, Habrobracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), can paralyze and lay eggs when reared on the larvae of the stored product pest, Plodia interpunctella Hübner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). At the four temperatures investigated (20, 25, 30, and 35 °C), optimum temperatures for oviposition were found to be 25 and 30 °C, while 35 °C was the least favorable temperature. No significant differences were found between the percentages of diapausing and non-diapausing larvae paralyzed by the wasp at the temperatures of 20, 25, 30, 35 °C within 5 days. However, in another experiment that investigated the effect of photoperiods at different temperatures that included 15, 19 and 28 °C, the number of paralyzed larvae was highly reduced at low temperatures (15 °C) but photoperiods had no significant impact on the number of host larvae paralyzed. In addition, observations at short time intervals also showed that lower temperatures slowed down host larvae paralysis. The results suggest that H. hebetor can paralyze host larvae of P. interpunctella more efficiently and deposit more eggs at temperatures within the range of 20-30 °C.