3Entomology Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Gazipur, Bangladesh.
Rearing methods for Bracon hebetor (Say) (Hym., Braconidae) were investigated in the series of laboratory experiments designed to enhance the yield of the mass rearing of this parasitoid for biological control of lepidopteran field and stored product pests. In these experiments, the effects of parasitoid and host densities on fertility and sex ratio of B. hebetor were assessed. In parasitoid densities, 50 last-instar greater wax moth (GWM) Galleria mellonella (L.) larvae were placed per container and 1, 2, 4, 8 or10 pairs of B. hebetor (one male and one female) were released in each container. In host density study two pairs B. hebetor were introduce in six different densities (10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60) of host, GWM per container. A density of ten male-female pairs of B. hebetor produced a higher number of progeny (205 ± 7.07 adults) on 50 last instar larvae of GWM. Similarly, in a host density experiment, a density of 60 last instars GWM larvae produced a significantly higher number of parasitoid progeny (142.0 ± 8.75 adults), followed by 50 last instar larvae (141.0 ± 8.34 adults) among the tested host densities when two pairs of B. hebetor were used. The sex ratio of progenies was male-biased in all studies and there were no significant effects on sex ratio in various parasitoid and host densities. In mass rearing experiment, total number of emerged parasitoids per 200 wax moth larvae was 1091 ± 82.38 adults with mean parasitism rate of 98 ± 0.8%.
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