Pupa parasitoids of Casama innotata (Lepidoptera, Erebidae),defoliator of Acacia horrida in Tunisia


Abstract: Infestation of Acacia horrida by pupae of Casama innotata was observed in May2018 in Brourmet (southeastern Tunisia). Pupae were protected in a silky cocoon covered byleaves of the host plant. The aim of the work is to evaluate the mortality and parasitism of pupaeof C. innotata collected in June 2018, placed individually and followed until parasitoidsemergence. Pupa mortality due to pathogen infection was very important (93.63%). It wasobserved during molting (39.63%), for drying pupae (19.20%), or caused by pathogens(7.62%). Parasitoids action was very important, 33.53% of pupae were parasitized. Threeparasitoids species belonging to the Hymenoptera order were identified: Pimpla rufipes,Hockeria sp. and Brachymeria sp. A cocoon of diptera were observed but no adult parasitoidemerged. Parasitism caused by P. rufipes and Hockeria sp. caused a mortality of 57.14% and33.33%, respectively. It seems that A. horrida educe synomones (semiochemicals) that attractpupae parasitoids. It seems that pupa mortality was caused by high temperatures and parasitoidsthat hindered outbreaks of C. innotata and then the equilibrium between insect and host-plantrestart. It will be interesting to identify parasitoids of all development stages, to study theirpopulation dynamics in order to use them as biocontrol agents.

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