Honeydew as a source of nutrition for Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae): effect of adult diet on lifespan and egg load




Parasitoid survival and fecundity is generally enhanced with access to carbohydrate food sources. In many agricultural ecosystems, there is often a scarcity of suitable carbohydrates for parasitoids. This study compared the suitability of aphid honeydew and buckwheat nectar as diet for the aphid parasitoid Lysiphlebus testaceipes. Wasp lifespan and egg load were both increased with access to carbohydrates, but no differences were detected between the various carbohydrates diets tested. As aphid honeydew is a sufficient source of nutrition and L. testaceipes is a short-lived species, adding additional sources of carbohydrates like floral nectar strips to the agricultural landscape is unlikely to significantly increase the biological control exerted by L. testaceipes.