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New Zealand Plant Protection 59 (2006): 184-189

Influence of temperature and flowers on longevity of adult Platygaster demades

W.R.M. Sandanayaka and J.G. Charles


Failure by Platygaster demades to provide effective biological control of apple leaf curling midge (ALCM) may be because the second, spring generation of the parasitoid is asynchronous with that of its host. Asynchrony may result from relatively slow development of P. demades at low temperatures in spring. In laboratory experiments, adult female P. demades provided with honey-agar diet lived significantly longer at 11°C (47.9 2.8 days) than at 19°C (19.4 days) and 27°C (2.7 days). Platygaster demades were provided with fresh flowers of Anethum graveolens (dill), Coriander sativam (coriander), Fagopyrum esculentum (buckwheat), Lobularia maritime (alyssum), Phacelia tanacetifolia (purple tansy) and Sinapis alba (white mustard). Both sexes lived longest (and comparably to the honey-agar diet) when provided with buckwheat flowers. The possibilities for using buckwheat in apple orchards to prolong the first generation of P. demades sufficiently to synchronise with the second generation population of ALCM are discussed.

Keywords: Platygaster demades, longevity, temperature, floral nectar.

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