Sagarra, L.A. 1999 . Biology and Behaviour of the Parasitoid Anagyrus kamali Moursi [Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae]. McGill University, Ph.D. Thesis Canada 179 pp.

Notes: [Ph.D. Thesis; Charles Vincent, advisor.] The parasitoid Anagyrus kamali Moursi [Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae] has been recently introduced into the Caribbean as a biological control agent against the Hibiscus Mealybug (HMB), Maconellicoccus hirsutus Green [Homoptera: Pseudococcidae]. Information on this parasitoid is scarce and investigations of its biology and behaviour were conducted to optimize its mass-production, and improve our understanding of the A. kamali/M. hirsutus system. Host selection experiments showed that, of nine species tested, HMB was the only suitable mealybug species for A. kamali development. Third nymphal instar was the optimal stage for wasp mass-production since A. kamali progeny from this stage had a female biased sex ratio and it had a weaker immune response as evidenced by lower encapsulation rate than adult female HMB. Parasitoid functional response was of type III in variable-time conditions, ensuring the preservation of HMB population at low density, and of type II–III in fixed-time conditions, leading to a better use of HMB population in mass-rearing. Temperature and photoperiod had a profound impact on parasitoid fecundity, 26°C and LD 0:24 being the optimal condition to maximize A. kamali oviposition. Parasitoid body size was positively correlated to its fitness. Large parasitoids lived significantly longer, had a higher fecundity, and progeny emergence with a lower sex ratio than small ones. Studies on mating showed that A. kamali is arrhenotokous and that multiple mating is required to optimize progeny sex ratio. Progeny production by mated females was also higher than that of virgin females. Female parasitoid fecundity was negatively correlated to their density due to mutual interference. Under mass-rearing conditions, 75 female A. kamali per cage was the optimum. Finally, under stored condition, food supply and low temperature (20°C) appeared essential to sustain parasitoid longevity. However, storage periods up to 14 days did not affect parasitoid lifetime fecundity. For optimal mass-production, 75 male and female A. kamali should be released in a cage containing 30-36 sprouted potatoes infested with 15 HMB egg masses each three weeks. After a three week-period, this should allow the production of 900 parasitoids over a 12 day-period.