Contagious sterility in the parasitoid wasp Eretmocerus mundus (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae)

Elad Chiel, Dan Gerling, Shimon Steinberg, Johannette Klapwijk, Karel Bolckmans, Einat Zchori-Fein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The parasitoid wasp Eretmocerus mundus (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) is used commercially to control the sweet potato whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae). Recently, a rapid deterioration of E. mundus populations has been documented under mass-rearing conditions. We found that deteriorating cultures consist of increasing proportions of sterile individuals, up to 90% within 6 months. Microscopic examination revealed that the gonads of wasps from both sexes are severely underdeveloped. Preliminary screening for potential pathogen candidates by means of polymerase chain reaction and denaturating-gradient gel electrophoresis did not provide any indication of possible causative agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalBiocontrol Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bemisia tabaci
  • biological control
  • gonad
  • pathogen
  • symbiont

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Contagious sterility in the parasitoid wasp Eretmocerus mundus (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this