Influence of parasitism by encyrtid parasitoids on the feeding behaviour of the cassava mealybug Phenacoccus herreni uri icon

abstract

  • Three encyrtid parasitoids Apoanagyrus (Epidinocarsis) diversicornis, Aenasius vexans, and Acerophagus coccois (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) are used to control the cassava mealybug Phenacoccus herreni Cox & Williams (Sternorrhyncha: Pseudococcidae), an important pest of cassava in South America. The influence of parasitism on the feeding behaviour of mealybugs was studied by observing honeydew secretion and by the electrical penetration graph technique (EPG, DC-system). Honeydew secretions were observed after parasitism until mummy transformation. No strong EPG parameter differences were found between parasitised and control insects. All results indicated that parasitised mealybugs keep feeding on the phloem sap after parasitism until mummy transformation. The main influence of parasitism on EPG parameters is the appearance of a new pattern resembling the E2 pattern at the extracellular level and labelled H. This pattern was also produced with control insects located on an unfavourable feeding site and could be associated with a stress response. It might be related to the still unclear E(c) pattern of aphids. The relationship of H to stylet activities is discussed.

publication date

  • 2001
  • 2001