What is it about?
The physiological limits of development across different temperatures are tested for a wasp proposed for the biological control of cockroaches: the Greater Ensign Wasp <i>Evania appendigaster</i>. Whilst longevity of the wasps is greater at temperatures around 15 degrees celsius, they're unable to reproduce and mostly inactive. They thrive within the temperature range 25-30 degree. Above 35 degrees celsius the wasps will die within few days, and will lay fewer eggs, which tend to fail to hatch. This is concomitant with the biogeographical range of these insects around the globe.
Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Cockroaches are a nuisance at a world scale. Natural enemies can prevent the population growth of urban cockroaches by hunting them down inside their underground habitats, where insecticides cannot reach younger reproductive stages. Through knowledge of the developmental biology of natural enemies, sustainable biocontrol strategies can be traced with greater success. Mass-releases of parasitic wasps are among the recommended modern methods of biological control, however considerable losses and fails will ensue if environmental conditions prove unfavourable.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Effects of different temperatures on the life history of Evania appendigaster L. (Hymenoptera: Evaniidae), a solitary oothecal parasitoid of Periplaneta americana L. (Dictyoptera: Blattidae), Biological Control, February 2010, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2009.10.005.
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About Evania appendigaster: Wikipedia
A basic overview on this species with pictures.
Published research on the parasitic limits of the Ensign Wasp
How many hosts can one of such wasps attack within a window of two days? This is essential information in rearing and planning the release these cockroach-killing wasps.
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