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Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) instar effects on rate of parasitism by Eretmocerus mundus and Encarsia pergandiella (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae)


  • This article reports the results of research only. Mention of a commercial or proprietary product does not constitute endorsement by the US Department of Agriculture.

Dr Tong-Xian Liu, Vegetable IPM Laboratory, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A & M University System, 2415 E. Highway 83, Weslaco, TX 78596, USA. Email:


Studies were conducted to compare preference among Bemisia tabaci Gennadius, biotype B instars for parasitization by Eretmocerus mundus Mercet and Encarsia pergandiella Howard when provided one instar only, two different instars, and four different instars simultaneously. In the single-instar no choice treatment, Er. mundus was more successful in parasitizing the younger host instars, while En. pergandiella parasitized a greater proportion of the older instars. Similar results were observed when parasitoids were provided a choice of two instars in six different pair combinations. When all four instars were provided simultaneously, the numbers of first, second, and third instars parasitized by Er. mundus were not significantly different from each other (range 10.3–16.4%), but all were significantly higher than parasitism of fourth instar nymphs (2.1%). The highest percentage parasitization by En. pergandiella was in third instar (17.2%), and the lowest in first instar (2.8%).