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Keywords:

  • insect;
  • life history;
  • parasite;
  • survival

Abstract

Scelio fulgidus (Crawford) is a widely distributed endoparasitoid in the eggs of the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera (Walker), that can exert considerable influence on locust population dynamics. The present study quantifies S. fulgidus longevity from different seasonal histories at five day/night temperature regimes in the laboratory. Longevity was sensitive to temperature, and means ranged from 5 days to 28 days in males and from 10 days to 33 days in females at 35/20°C and at 15/0°C (day/night), respectively. There was no significant difference in the longevity of S. fulgidus sampled from different seasonal populations, or those from host diapause eggs exposed to 15°C in soil for 100 days before hatching. These data report the average longevity of S. fulgidus at different day/night temperature regimes and considerably increase the previously reported individual maximum longevity for the species. The effects of temperature on wasp longevity may have important host–parasitoid implications at different times of the year.