Feasibility of Continuous Rearing of a Potential Ichneumonid Parasitoid Campoletis chlorideae Uchida
The rearing of ichneumonid parasitoids is a great challenge mainly due to the preponderance of male progeny in the continuously lab reared cultures. The issues faced in the continuous rearing of an indigenous ichneumonid parasitoid Campoletis chlorideae Uchida (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) were recorded and attempts were made to tackle these challenges by manipulating the rearing processes. Some of the problems could be considerably alleviated by rearing the parasitoids in larger cages measuring 0.52 × 0.52 × 0.76 m (with 5 to 8 parasitoid pairs per cage) and by placing these cages in walk-in chambers set at 26±2°C and 70±2% RH. It is a general observation that the culture deteriorates after some generations in the laboratory, but the need was felt to verify the biological parameters which are affected most due to continuous laboratory rearing. The reproductive rate and intrinsic rate of increase were significantly higher in the field collected parasitoids compared to the continuously lab reared ones indicating that bio-deterioration occurs due to continuous rearing. The study also indicated that it would be ideal to bring in wild culture after five generations in the laboratory and rejuvenation is essential after nine generations. Based on the information generated through basic studies, we aim to provide a simple protocol (including cage design) which can be adopted by insectaries or researchers interested in initiating and maintaining the culture of C. chlorideae. Measurable biological parameters are also suggested, which can be used to monitor the quality and scale of production.
Campoletis chlorideae, Spodoptera Litura, Rearing Protocol.
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