Host-Parasite Biology of Thripinema fuscum (Tylenchida: Allantonematidae) and Frankliniella fusca (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)


  • Kelly Sims
  • Joe Funderburk
  • Drion Boucias


allantonematidae, arachis hypogaea, biological control, entomopathogenic nematode, frankliniella fusca, host-parasite biology, nematode, population dynamics, thripidae, thripinema fuscum thrips


Thripinema fuscum is a natural enemy of Frankliniella fusca in peanut. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the reproductive biology of T. fuscum as affected by gender and stage of development of the host and to determine the effects of parasitism on host longevity, fecundity, and mortality. The adult females of F. fusca were the most readily parasitized (P 0.001) in the laboratory experiments followed by the second instars, the first instars, and the adult males. One generation of T. fuscum developed within the parasitized larvae and adults, with the males and females emerging only during the adult stage of the host. Parasitism did not cause mortality of the host. Parasitism affected male longevity (P 0.001) but not female longevity. The adult female thrips that were parasitized as first or second instars did not lay eggs, and the adult females stopped laying eggs within 3 days of being parasitized. The female-to-male sex ratio of T. fuscum emerging from parasitized male and female F. fusca was 22 and 18 to 1, respectively. More T. fuscum emerged from female hosts than from male hosts (P 0.001). More emerged from hosts parasitized as larvae compared with hosts parasitized as adults (P 0.05). The intrinsic capacity of increase of T. fuscum ranged between 0.29 and 0.37 when parasitizing the adult males and females and between 0.18 and 0.21 when parasitizing the larval males and females. Percent parasitism of F. fusca was estimated in peanut fields. The flowers were the primary site for aggregation of the adults of F. fusca and for the free-living females of T. fuscum to parasitize new hosts. As under laboratory conditions, field parasitism of adult males was less than parasitism of adult females in 2001 and 2002 (P 0.01 and 0.001, respectively). Our study indicates that T. fuscum is a potential biological control agent capable of suppressing F. fusca populations in peanut.