Eretmocerus species (Hym. Aphelinidae) are solitary parasitoids of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius). Mate finding and mating behavior of two species, E. mundus and E. eremicus, were studied under laboratory conditions. We used three populations of Eretmocerus: typical arrhenotokous populations of E. eremicus ( from USA) and E. mundus ( from Spain), and an atypical thelytokous population of E. mundus ( from Australia). We studied the intra- and interspecific responses of males to volatile and nonvolatile components of the female sex pheromones, mating behavior, and hybridization between populations and species. In both arrhenotokous populations, males reacted to volatile pheromones by walking toward conspecific virgin females. Males also reacted to nonvolatile pheromones by spending more time on and around patches on leaves of poinsettia plants that had been exposed to virgin females. Males of E. eremicus showed the same reaction to the nonvolatile sex pheromone of E. mundus females, but E. mundus males did not show any reaction to the nonvolatile sex pheromone of E. eremicus. There was no response of males of both species to thelytokous females of E. mundus. In both species three phases were distinguished in the mating behavior: premating, mating, and postmating. The duration of the phases differed between the three populations. Successful copulation between the two Eretmocerus species did not occur. In contrast, we recorded some successful copulations between Australian males and Spanish females of E. mundus, but they did not produce any hybrid females.
|Journal||Journal of Insect Behavior|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
- nr-californicus hymenoptera
- tabaci complex homoptera
- walker hymenoptera