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Psyche
Volume 2017, Article ID 3156534, 8 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3156534
Research Article

An Insight in the Reproductive Biology of Therophilus javanus (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, and Agathidinae), a Potential Biological Control Agent against the Legume Pod Borer (Lepidoptera, Crambidae)

1UMR DGIMI 1333 INRA, UM, Case Courrier 101, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34 095 Montpellier, France
2International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Benin Research Station (IITA-Benin), 08 BP 0932 Cotonou, Benin
3Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques (FSA), Université d’Abomey Calavi, 01 BP 526 Cotonou, Benin
4Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, Netherlands
5Department of Entomology, Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, MI, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Anne-Nathalie Volkoff; rf.arni@ffoklov.eilahtan-enna and Manuele Tamò; gro.raigc@omat.m

Received 23 June 2017; Accepted 17 August 2017; Published 28 September 2017

Academic Editor: Jacques Hubert Charles Delabie

Copyright © 2017 Djibril Aboubakar Souna et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Therophilus javanus is a koinobiont, solitary larval endoparasitoid currently being considered as a biological control agent against the pod borer Maruca vitrata, a devastating cowpea pest causing 20–80% crop losses in West Africa. We investigated ovary morphology and anatomy, oogenesis, potential fecundity, and egg load in T. javanus, as well as the effect of factors such as age of the female and parasitoid/host size at oviposition on egg load. The number of ovarioles was found to be variable and significantly influenced by the age/size of the M. vitrata caterpillar when parasitized. Egg load also was strongly influenced by both the instar of M. vitrata caterpillar at the moment of parasitism and wasp age. The practical implications of these findings for improving mass rearing of the parasitoid toward successful biological control of M. vitrata are discussed.