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.

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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.


This project was an important step in my early training as a scientist. It was among my first projects as an undergrad, and the publication remains solid as an influential piece in the field to this day. We hope to have contributed with quintessential knowledge about the lifecycle of an important candidate for the biological control of an urban pest insect. The data contained herein should better enforce the planning of release and mass-rearing technologies.

Dr Eduardo G P Fox

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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