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New Zealand Plant Protection 69 (2016): 310-317

Interspecific competition between Mastrus ridens and Liotryphon caudatus, ectoparasitoids of codling moth Cydia pomonella

W.R.M. Sandanayaka, V.A. Davis and J.G. Charles


Mastrus ridens is a gregarious ectoparasitoid and Liotryphon caudatus is a solitary ectoparasitoid of cocooned codling moth larvae. These two parasitoid species could potentially compete for resources because they oviposit and develop on the same life-stage of their host. Competition experiments in the laboratory showed that females of both species oviposited into host cocoons regardless of previous parasitism, but adults of only one species ever emerged. Liotryphon caudatus larvae were highly aggressive. They preyed upon eggs and larvae of M. ridens, as well as conspecifics, such that only a single adult L. caudatus emerged. Mastrus ridens larvae survived competition with L. caudatus if they had a sufficient time to develop to a size that could attack L. caudatus eggs. However, L. caudatus was often still able to outcompete M. ridens even when M. ridens eggs were laid first. Mastrus ridens hyper-parasitised L. caudatus larvae that had themselves cocooned within the host cocoon, but no parasitoids emerged. Liotryphon caudatus out-competed M. ridens in an enclosed space, but that ability in a natural ecosystem remains to be investigated.

Keywords: Cydia pomonella, Liotryphon caudatus, Mastrus ridens, interspecific competition, biological control..

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