Lack of suitable sugar sources for adult parasitic wasps is an important cause of failure in biological control programs, but the metabolic constraints of sugar feeding are poorly understood. Here we investigated the suitability of 11 naturally occurring sugars as energy sources for the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata (L.) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). By feeding energy-deprived individuals with given quantities of a 40% (w:w) sugar solution, we assessed recovery time and lifespan after feeding. More than 50% of the wasps recovered within 20 min, and at least 80% within 60 min after uptake of one of the monosaccharides fructose or glucose, the disaccharide sucrose, or the trisaccharide melezitose. Between 40 to 80% of the test insects recovered within an hour after intake of maltose, raffinose, galactose, or mannose. Less than 25% recovered within 1 h after uptake of melibiose, trehalose, rhamnose, or water (control). Parasitoids obtained the highest lifespan benefits after intake of glucose, fructose, sucrose, or melezitose, indicating and confirming their convertibility as an energy source for C. glomerata. In contrast, no lifespan increase was found after consumption of rhamnose and trehalose. The differences in recovery time and lifespan are discussed in terms of parasitoid enzyme activity and metabolic processes. [KEYWORDS: saccharides ; Cotesia glomerata ; parasitoid ; convertibility ; sugar ; longevity ; recovery]
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Journal publication date2005

ID: 35055