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Influence of age and diet on the performance of Cephalonomia stephanoderis (Hymenoptera, Bethylidae) a parasitoid of the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Coleoptera, Curculionidae)

DOI: 10.1590/S0085-56262012005000017

Keywords: biological control, coffee, host feeding, host searching, survivorship.

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the importance of age and feeding on the performance of cephalonomia stephanoderis (hymenoptera, bethylidae), a parasitoid of the coffee berry borer, hypothenemus hampei (coleoptera, curculionidae) was investigated in the laboratory. groups of female parasitoids were subject to the following treatments: a group fed during one, five and ten days after emergence of adults with coffee borer larvae; another group fed only with honey solution during five days after emergence; and as a control, a third group was kept without food for five days. at the end of each treatment, survivorship, parasitoid activity (walking and flying capacity in an arena), search capacity for finding coffee borer-infested berries, host feeding and oviposition (on immature hosts), were assessed. unfed females showed a significant decrease in survivorship compared to individuals that were fed. the type of meal (insects or honey) did not significantly influence parasitoid activity, search and oviposition capacities. females fed with honey solution significantly consumed less immature coffee borers. younger females (one day old) walked and flew out of the arena significantly faster than older ones (5 and 10 days old). implications of these results are discussed on the performance of c. stephanoderis as a biological control agent of the coffee berry borer.


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