Habrobracon hebetor

Habrobracon hebetor (Say)

(Formerly known as Bracon hebetor Say)

Systematic position: Insecta, Holometabola, Hymenoptera, Apocryta, Chalcidoidea, Braconidae.

Morphology: Body of adut mostly black; head and legs mostly dark-yellow, dorsum of thorax brown.

Geographical distribution: Almost cosmopolitan.

Life history: Habrobracon hebetor is an ectoparasitoid of several lepidopterous larvae. Females host larvae and thus paralyze them, whereon they place their eggs. Fecundity (usually 3-5/host) depends on host size, more eggs being deposited on larger hosts. The larvae feed externally on the host until they pupate, usually near the host’s remnants. Development at 26°C, from egg to aduld, required 10-11 days. All larval hosts (such as Spodoptera littoralis) sizes and ages were paralyzed and all parasitoid progeny developing therein emerged. Of several lepidopterous larvae tried for the mass production of H. hebetor, best results were obtained with the wax moth, Galleria mellonella (L.).

Economic importance: Habrobracon hebetor attacks and contributes to the control of various lepidopteran pests: in the field (such as Helicoverpa armigera), in olive groves and in stored grain and fruit products.


Amany, M. 2012. Bracon Hebetor as a Biocontrol Agent for Olive Lepidopterans in Egypt. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, pp 184.

Bar, D., Gerling, D. and Rossler, Y. 1979. Bionomics of the principal natural enemies attacking Heliothis armigera in cotton fields in Israel. Environmental Entomology 8: 468-474.

Brower, J. H. and Press, J.W. 1990. Introduction of Bracon hebetor (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Trichogramma pretiosum (Hym.: Trichogramidae) in suppressing stored product moth population in small inshell peanut storage. Journal of Economic Entomology 83: 1096–1101.

Ghimire, M.N. and Phillips, T.W. 2010. Mass rearing of Habrobracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on larvae of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae): effects of host density, parasitoid density, and rearing containers. Journal of Stored Products Research 46: 214-22.

Eliopoulos PA1, Stathas GJ. 2008. Life tables of Habrobracon hebetor (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) parasitizing Anagasta kuehniella and Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae): effect of host density. Journal of Economic Entomology 101: 982-988.

Gul, M. and Gulel, A. 1995. Biology of parasitoid Bracon hebetor (Say) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and the effect of host larvae size on fecundity and sex ratio. Turkish Journal of Zoology 19: 231-235.

Gul, M. and Gulel, A. 1995. Effect of super-parasitism, in the parasitoid Bracon hebetor (Say), on fecundity and sex ratio. Turkish Journal of Zoology 19: 237-240.

Gunduz, E.A. and Gulel, A. 2005 Investigation of fecundity and sex ratio in the parasitoid Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in relation to parasitoid age. Turkish Journal of Zoology 29: 291-294.

Hameed, A.A., Al-Taweel, A., Al-Jboory, I.J. and Al-Zaidy, S.M. 2011. Using the parasitoid, Bracon hebeto Say. and the pheromone traps to control the moth insects, Ephestia spp. In date stores in Iraq. Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control; Giza 21: 377-383.

Khalil, M.S., Raza1, A.B.M., Afzal1, M., Aqueel1, M.A., Khalil1, H. and Hance, T. 2016. Effects of different host species on the life history of Bracon hebetor. Animal Biology 66: 403–414.

Ohh, M.H. 1993. Studies on biological characteristics of parasitic Hymenoptera, Bracon hebetor (Say) (Braconidae; Hymenoptera). Korean Journal of Entomology 23: 143-149.