Parasitoidism rate and life table parameters of Aphytis diaspidis (Howard) (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) and its host latania scale Hemiberlesia lataniae (Signoret) (Hemiptera: Diaspididae)

Dennis Navea O.1, and Robinson Vargas M.1*

Latania scale, Hemiberlesia lataniae (Signoret), has become a major pest of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) in Chile and has reached high populations in the fruit because of limited natural control. The objective of this study was to identify the biological parameters of the parasitoid Aphytis diaspidis (Howard) as a control agent of latania scale. Postembryonic development, parasitoidism rate, and life table parameters of the parasitoid and scale were determined under laboratory conditions. Aphytis diaspidis postembryonic development and parasitoidism rate varied significantly when evaluated on distinct latania scale stages with the highest survival (56%) occurring at the third scale stage, it also had the shortest development time between egg and adult (19.14 d) and the highest parasitoidism rate (66%). The intrinsic growth rate (rm) was higher for A. diaspidis (rm = 0.099) than latania scale (rm = 0.068). These laboratory results demonstrated that A. diaspidis is an effective parasitoid for decreasing H. lataniae populations, especially in the third stage.

Keywords: Postembryonic development, life tables, parasitoidism, biological control, white scale, avocado.
1Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias INIA, Casilla 3, La Cruz, Chile. *Corresponding author (rvargas@inia.cl).