Reproductive Biology of Celatoria compressa (Diptera: Tachinidae), a Parasitoid of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

F. Zhang, S. Toepfer, K. Riley, U. Kuhlmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


The tachinid Celatoria compressa, a parasitoid of adult Diabrotica species in North America has been studied as a candidate classical biological control agent for the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, in Europe. Prior to its potential importation, a thorough understanding of the parasitoid's reproductive biology is essential, and is an important component in the evaluation of a species as a biological control agent. In this study it has been clarified that C. compressa belongs to a group of a few tachinid species characterised by having eggs that contain fully developed larvae which are laid directly into the host. After mating, the egg load of females increased steadily from day 1 to a maximum egg load on day 4. Thereafter eggs containing fully developed first instar larvae reached a maximum of 31 in 69 eggs. At the first day of larviposition, females laid on average only five eggs into multiple hosts, which is in contrast to the availability of 18 eggs containing fully developed first instars in the uterus per female at that time. During a mean female's larviposition period of 23 days, a total of 33 first instars were larviposited into the hosts, which is only half of the female's egg load. Lifetime fecundity of C. compressa was significantly correlated with longevity. However no relationship was found between body size and either lifetime fecundity or longevity. In this study, an inverse host density-dependent pattern of percent parasitism was shown for C. compressa under 24-h fixed-time laboratory conditions, reflecting a Holling type II response. The number of host parasitized per C. compressa female reached an upper limit of 10 hosts with an increasing host density, which can be explained by the long host handling time of C. compressa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalBiocontrol Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2004



  • Age-specific fecundity
  • Celatoria compressa
  • Classical biological control
  • Diabrotica virgifera virgifera
  • Egg load
  • Functional response
  • Lifetime fecundity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science

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