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Fitness Effects of Food Resources on the Polyphagous Aphid Parasitoid, Aphidius colemani Viereck (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae).

  • Author(s): Charles, Jennifer J
  • Paine, Timothy D
  • et al.
Abstract

Conservation biological control involving the polyphagous aphid parasitoid, Aphidius colemani Viereck, may include provisioning resources from a variety of plant sources. The fitness of adult A. colemani was enhanced with the provision of food resources such as floral nectar from a range of both native and introduced plant species and aphid honeydew under laboratory conditions. However, enhanced fitness appeared to be species specific rather than associated with the whether the plant was a native or an introduced species. Parasitoid survival and fecundity were enhanced significantly in response to the availability of floral nectar and honeydew compared to the response to available extrafloral nectar. These positive effects on the parasitoid's reproductive activity can improve the effectiveness of conservation biological control in nursery production systems because of the abundance and diversity of floral resources within typical production areas. Additionally, surrounding areas of invasive weeds and native vegetation could serve as both floral resources and honeydew food resources for A. colemani.

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