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Eretmocerus mundus

Parasitic Wasp of Whitefly

Eretmocerus mundus is a wasp that parasitizes several species of Bemisia. It can develop in any larval stage ofBemisia, but prefers the second and early third larval stage. Eretmocerus mundus lays its eggs under theBemisia larva. After three days, the egg turns to a brownish colour. If the egg is laid under the first larval stage, development of the E. mundus larva is delayed until the Bemisia larva reaches the second stage. The life cycle is completed in approximately 14 days depending on temperature and stage of development of the parasitizedBemisia. During winter, Eretmocerus mundus development might require more time. For example, in non-heated greenhouses, development can take more than one month to complete. A newly parasitized Bemisia larva does not immediately acquire any distinct colouration. Two weeks after parasitism, the Bemisia larva swells, becomes shinier and turns to a golden-yellow colour. When it emerges from the whitefly larva, E. mundus makes a round hole in its host just as Eretmocerus eremicus does. The presence of this hole is a good indication of parasitism.

An E. mundus adult resembles the E. eremicus adult. It is only possible to distinguish them under a microscope.Eretmocerus mundus has 4 hairs on the prothorax while E. eremicus has 6.