Sex allocation and egg distribution of an autoparasitoid, Encarsia pergandiella (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae)

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18 Scopus citations


Abstract. 1. Encarsia pergandiella Howard females develop as primary parasitoids on immature whiteflies, and males develop as secondary parasitoids on females of their own or a related species. The hypothesis that the sex ratio reflects the relative abundance of the two host types was tested in the laboratory using petri dish arenas with varying proportions of early fourth instar greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum (West.)) (primary hosts) and pupal female E.pergandiella (secondary hosts). Egg distribution was analysed with respect to sex ratio, super‐parasitism and host discrimination. 2. The proportion of primary and secondary hosts parasitized in each treatment reflected the relative availability of each host type. Thus females presented with 75% primary hosts laid more female eggs than male. However, in all treatments, a greater proportion of secondary hosts were parasitized than would be expected from the proportion of secondary hosts available. This indicates that more male eggs were laid than expected. 3. More secondary hosts than primary hosts were superparasitized. 4. Host discrimination analysis using a new test statistic showed that females generally laid eggs at random with regard to previous parasitism of primary or secondary hosts. However, females in one treatment with 50% of each host type appeared to preferentially oviposit in secondary hosts which did not contain any eggs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Entomology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1989


  • Aphelinidae
  • Autoparasitoid
  • Encarsia pergandiella
  • Trialeurodes vaporariorum
  • biological control
  • greenhouse whitefly
  • host discrimination
  • sex ratio
  • superparasitism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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