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Mortality of the cassava mealybug, Phenacoccus manihoti MAT.FERR. (Hom., Pseudococcidae), associated with an attack by Epidinocarsis lopezi (Hym., Encyrtidae)
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In laboratory experiments with Epidinocarsis lopezi, a parasite that has been introduced into Africa for the biological control of Phenacoccus manihoti on cassava, hosts of different stages that had been stung by a female parasite were inspected after 6 and 20 days. The killing power of the parasite was several times as high as the production of parasite offspring. Host feeding and mutilation were responsible for 1-22 and 11-34% mortality, respectively. Both were significantly higher on younger than on older hosts. Of mealybugs that were stung, 11-33% yielded live parasites; parasite reproduction was significantly more successful in older than in younger hosts. Of all the hosts, 30-56% survived a single oviposition attempt by the parasite; mortality in unstung mealybugs was 4-8%.