Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Aphidiinae) is a parasitic wasp which plays an important role in the biological control of a number of aphid species. Through assessment of its thermal biology and low temperature tolerance, this study ascertains the establishment potential of L. testaceipes in cool temperate climates typical of northern Europe. The developmental threshold of L. testaceipes was 5.8A degrees C. Rearing of parasitoids at shorter day lengths and lower temperatures indicated no ability to enter a diapause state. The supercooling points (SCP) of non-acclimated and acclimated parasitoid life stages were between -24.6A degrees C and -17.7A degrees C, with LTemp(50) temperatures approaching these values, indicating a high level of cold tolerance in short exposures. At 5A degrees C the LTime(50) of acclimated larvae within parasitized aphids was 42.8 days. Acclimated pupae continued to develop with 54% adult emergence from mummies within 60 days. Acclimated parasitoid larvae and pupae, within living and mummified aphids, continued to develop during 70 days of winter field exposure and emerging adult parasitoids were reproductively viable under field conditions. These data indicate that where suitable host species are available throughout the year, L. testaceipes would be able to establish in northern Europe.
- Establishment potential
- Cold tolerance