Biology and Ecology of Pleurotroppopsis podagrica (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae): A Potential Parasitoid of the Oil Palm Pest, Coelaenomenodera Elaeidis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)


Abstract

<i>Coelaenomenodera elaeidis</i> (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is endemic in almost all oil palm growing areas of West Africa and regarded as the most devastating insect pest of the oil palm. For the purpose of a detailed knowledge of the rearing, life cycle and ecology of the natural enemy of <i>C. elaeidis</i>, field and laboratory studies were conducted in the main station of the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research. Pruned, damaged and infested fronds from the field were cut open and studied for presence of different life stages of <i>C. elaeidis</i>, and their potential parasitoids. Parasitoid larval developmental period averaged 8 d while pupal developmental period had a mean of 7.2 ± 1.48 d. The total developmental period of the parasitoid from larva to adult averaged 23.2 ± 3.56 d. Average longevity of the adult parasitoid was 3.9 ± 3.56 d. Temperature was between 25 - 30ºC and relative humidity ranged between 81-86%. The eulophid wasp, <i>Pleurotroppopsis podagrica,/i> was found to parasitize <i>C. elaeidis</i>. Its larva is predominantly whitish, oval and translucent. The larva is averagely 3mm, oblong at the anterior and posterior sections tapering at both ends. The parasitoid emerged from the posterior region of <i>C. elaeidis</i> with the anterior region inside the host. This paper has shown that control of the <i>C. elaeidis</i> in its larval stage seems most promising and <i>P. podagrica</i> offers potential as bio-control agent for the <i>C. elaeidis</i>.

Keywords

Oil Palm, Insect Pest, Parasitoid, Pleurotroppopsis Podagrica, Coelaenomenodera Elaeidis

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