Effect of Binodoxys communis parasitism on flight behavior of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines

Ying Zhang, Kris A.G. Wyckhuys, Mark K. Asplen, George E. Heimpel, Kongming Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Many aphid species possess wingless (apterous) and winged (alate) stages, both of which can harbor parasitoids at various developmental stages. Winged aphids bearing parasitoid eggs or young larvae can potentially still engage in long-distance flights and thereby facilitate parasitoid dispersal, which has important implications for biological control of aphids by parasitoids. In this study, we determined the effect of parasitism by Binodoxys communis (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on wing development and flight of the summer alate stage of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and quantified the effect of aphid flight duration on subsequent B. communis development. Parasitism by B. communis was allowed at alatoid 3rd (L3) and 4th instar (L4) nymphal stages of A. glycines and subsequent aphid flight was measured using a computer-monitored flight mill. Only 25% of aphids parasitized as L3 alatoid nymphs produced normal winged adults, compared to 100% of L4 alatoids. While flight performance of aphids that had been parasitized as 4th-instar alatoid nymphs 24 or 48. h prior to testing was similar to that of unparasitized alates of identical age, it declined sharply for alates that had been parasitized as 4th-instar alatoid nymphs 72 and 96. h prior to testing. Parasitoid larval and pupal development times, percent mummification and adult emergence rates did not differ between treatments in which aphids had flown over varying durations. Our results have implications for natural biological control of A. glycines in Asia and classical biological control of the soybean aphid in North America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Dengfa Cheng (Institute of Plant protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing) for providing the aphid flight-mill. This research was supported by financial assistance from National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 30625028 ), Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology ( 2006CB102007 ), and NCSRPC and USDA RAMP funding.

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Aphis glycines
  • Binodoxys communis
  • Biological control
  • Parasitoid dispersal
  • Phoresy
  • Wing development

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