Biennial sweetclovers were widely used for soil improvement and as for- ages in the first half of the 1900s. The introduction of the sweetclover weevil, Sitona cylindricollis, caused a drastic decline in sweetclover acreage. In North Dakota, yellow sweetclover, Melilotus officinalis, is still the legume of choice on organic farms. In an effort to control the weevil, the thelyotokous parasitoid Pygostolus falcatus was imported. Parasitoids were studied for temperature-dependent development, and adult longevity as influenced by temperature and availability of provisions. Development from egg to adult at 15, 20, 25 and 30°C was 58, 28, 22 and 21 d, respectively. No parasitoids were reared out at 10°C, although diapausing first instars were present. Longevity of adult parasitoids provided honey, water, sweetclover and sweet- clover weevils at 15, 20, 25 and 30°C was 29, 22, 12 and 6 d, respectively. Adults provided the following combinations of provisions at 25°C survived for: nothing-2 d; water-2 d; honey-4 d; honey and water - 6 d; honey, water and sweetclover - 11 d; honey, water, sweetclover and hosts - 12 d. Field cage releases and a degree-day model developed for the parasitoid demonstrated that poor synchrony between P. falcatus and the sweetclover weevil hinders its usefulness as a biological control agent.
Milbrath, Lindsey R. and Weiss, Michael J.
"Development, Survival and Phenology of the Sweetclover Weevil Parasitoid, Pygostolus Falcatus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae),"
The Great Lakes Entomologist, vol 31
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol31/iss2/6