AffiliationDepartment of Entomology
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AbstractReproductive traits of wasp parasitoids are thought to be strong indicators of their success as biological control agents. Our study looks at the number of eggs produced by the whitefly parasitoid Eretmocerus eremicus. A series of experiments conducted on female wasps reared in the absence of whitefly hosts demonstrated that adult wasps emerge with a large (approximately 54) number of eggs that is retained during the first 2 days of adult life. Eggs are then absorbed steadily until at least 8 days following emergence. The results of this study suggest that the mode of egg production exhibited by E. eremicus is the type where they emerge with all, or nearly all, of their eggs, i.e. they do not produce additional eggs as they age. This information is significant when considering how they find their whitefly hosts and how effective they might be in controlling whitefly numbers.