Endogenous and exogenous factors affecting parasitism of gypsy moth egg masses by Ooencyrtus kuvanae

Richard W. Hofstetter, Kenneth F. Raffa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Factors affecting the orientation, reproduction, and sex ratio of the egg parasitoid Ooencyrtus kuvanae Howard were examined. Adult females were attracted to airborne volatiles from the egg mass and accessory gland of the primary host, the gypsy moth Lymantria dispar L. Visual cues also affected host selection. Background colors against which egg masses were placed affected oviposition preference. In the absence of egg masses, color variation did not affect wasp behavior. Light is required for parasitism by O. kuvanae. The age and density of both the host and parasitoid affected wasp reproduction and sex ratios. Older egg masses issued relatively fewer wasps and higher proportions of males than did young egg masses. Likewise, wasp reproduction and the proportion of females declined with wasp age. Larger egg masses produced more wasps and lower proportions of males than did smaller egg masses. The number of offspring per female, and the proportion of female offspring, were inversely related to wasp density. Implications to biological control of the gypsy moth and parasitoid ecology are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-135
Number of pages13
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Egg parasitoid
  • Encyrtidae
  • Host acceptance
  • Hymenoptera
  • Lymantria dispar
  • Ooencyrtus kuvanae
  • Parasitoid density
  • Sex ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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