Effect of the pupal age of Calliphora erythrocephala (Diptera: Calliphoridae) on the reproductive biology of Melittobia acasta (Walker) (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Eulophidae)


Nyiutaha Godwin Imandeh, Applied Entomology and Parasitology Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. Email: imandehn@unijos.edu.ng


A laboratory experiment was conducted to determine the effect of the pupal age of Calliphora erythrocephala (Meigen) on the reproductive biology (in terms of number, size, developmental time and longevity of progeny) of the parasitoid Melittobia acasta Walker. Melittobia acasta females of uniform size were given five C. erythrocephala pupae from one of four experimental age groups: 17–24 h, 24–48 h, 48–72 h and 72–96 h, for parasitization. The mean number of progeny produced from the experimental age groups for a 24 h period were 2, 7.6, 15.6 and 13.6, respectively. The parasitoids preferred hosts that were 48–72 h old. There were no significant differences in the mean development time (18.2 days) and size of progeny (mean head width = 0.38 ± 0.01 mm) produced from the experimental host age groups. The longevity of progeny from the four host age groups varied (range: 4–39 days), with those from the 48–72 h group living longest (mean = 25 days). The F1 females from the 48–72 h group were reproductively more successful than those from the other groups, producing a mean F2 progeny of 912 individuals when compared with 867, 801 and 757 individuals from the 24–48 h, 72–96 h and 17–24 h age groups, respectively. These findings make significant contributions to our knowledge of the breeding and utilization of this parasitoid for the biological control of dipteran flies in pigsties and poultry houses.