Trichospilus diatraeae (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae): development and reproduction in Lepidoptera palm oil pests

Abstract Brazil is a leading palm oil producer, but the defoliating caterpillars Opsiphanes invirae Hübner Brassolis sophorae L. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) can reduce the productivity of this crop. The aim of this study was to evaluate the development and reproduction of the parasitoid Trichospilus diatraeae Cherian & Margabandhu (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in pupae of these oil palm defoliators. Ten O. invirae or B. sophorae pupae with up to two days old were exposed each to 30 T. diatraeae females for 48 hours. Parasitism and emergence of the progeny of T. diatraeae were similar in pupae of both Lepidoptera defoliators. The life cycle of this parasitoid was shorter in O. invirae (21.50 ± 0.42 days) pupae than with those of B. sophorae (27.60 ± 1.80 days). The number of the progeny (669.00 ± 89.62) and dead immature (217.13 ± 58.18) of T. diatraeae were higher in B. sophorae pupae than in those of O. invirae with 447.83 ± 51.52 and 13.50 ± 5.23, respectively. The sex ratio and female and male longevity of T. diatraeae emerged from these hosts were similar. The reproductive traits, especially the number of individuals (offspring) of T. diatraeae were better with B. sophorae pupae than with those of O. invirae.