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Open AccessArticle

Density-Dependent Growth and Fitness in Dastarcus helophoroides (Coleoptera: Bothrideridae)

Shandong Research Center for Forestry Harmful Biological Control Engineering and Technology, College of Plant Protection, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271018, China
Taishan Food and Drug Testing Center, Shandong Medical Technician College, Tai’an 271000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(11), 386;
Received: 1 September 2019 / Revised: 29 October 2019 / Accepted: 30 October 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
The ectoparasitoid Dastarcus helophoroides Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Bothrideridae) is an important natural enemy insect, which is artificially mass-reared and released into woodland to control medium and large longhorn beetle species. This study examined the developmental duration (days) of larvae and adult fitness (including numbers of adults emerging per host and mean body size) by exposing a single substitute host, a pupa of Zophobas morio (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), to different densities of D. helophoroides larvae. We showed that there was no significant effect on the rate of successful parasitism and cocoon formation, but emergence success and measures of individual adult body size (length, width, and weight) declined with increasing larval density. Larval period and cocoon period increased with larval density, while total weight of adults emerging per host increased initially before reaching a plateau. Our results suggest that a pupa of Z. morio could be successfully parasitized by a single D. helophoroides larva, but multiple D. helophoroides larvae can share one host. Excessive larval density caused intraspecific competition among D. helophoroides larvae, manifesting in extended developmental duration of immature stage and reduced fitness of adults. Furthermore, the tradeoff between the numbers of adults and body size may stabilize the population dynamics with detectable mutual interference, particularly in competing for limited host resources. These findings suggest six larvae per host would achieve the highest adult fitness and would enhance mass-rearing techniques as part of IPM strategies for longhorn beetles. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dastarcus helophoroides; larva; density; developmental performance; adult fitness; natural enemy insect Dastarcus helophoroides; larva; density; developmental performance; adult fitness; natural enemy insect
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Gao, S.-K.; Geng, C.-C.; Ji, Y.-C.; Li, Z.-K.; Zhou, C.-G. Density-Dependent Growth and Fitness in Dastarcus helophoroides (Coleoptera: Bothrideridae). Insects 2019, 10, 386.

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