Courtship behavior, reproductive relationships, and allozyme patterns of three north American populations of Eretmocerus nr. californicus (Hymenoptera: aphelinidae) parasitizing the whitefly Bemisia sp., Tabaci complex (homoptera: aleyrodidae)

Martha S. Hunter, Michael F. Antolin, Mike Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Throughout the southern U.S., the serious whitefly pest, Bemisia sp. is parasitized by morphologically similar aphelinid parasitoids that have all been called Eretmocerus nr. californicus. In this study, the courtship behavior, reproductive compatibility, and allozyme patterns of three populations of E. nr. californicus from Texas, Arizona, and California were investigated to determine their species status. The courtship behavior of the three populations did not differ in the kinds of behaviors performed; the sequence of behaviors, or the frequency or duration of behaviors. Reciprocal mating trials between E. nr. californicus from Texas and E. nr. californicus from Arizona or California did not result in any successful mating, but there was no significant difference between the frequency of between- and within- population matings in the Arizona and California populations. Isoelectric focusing electrophoresis for the 3-5 allozyme loci scored for each population showed divergence of the Texas population from the populations from Arizona and California. The allele frequencies at the IDH locus differed between the Texas and the Arizona and California populations. Similarly, allele frequencies at the ME locus differed between the Texas and the Arizona populations. The Texas population showed two unique alleles at the MDH locus, but otherwise MDH, PGI, and PGM showed similar allele frequencies in all populations. The results of the mating trials and electrophoretic study corroborate subtle morphological and pigment differences between the Texas population and Arizona and California populations, and it is concluded that these populations represent two species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-137
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Volume98
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biological control
  • Electrophoresis
  • Silverleaf whitefly
  • Sweetpotato whitefly
  • Systematics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

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