Ooencyrtus pityocampae

Ooencyrtus pityocampae (Mercet)

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

Geographical dstribution: Mediterranean countries, Iran.

Morphology: Adults mostly shiny black with pale legs.

Life history: A solitary, polyphagous parasitoid that develops in the eggs of various Hemiptera and Lepidoptera. It is thelytokous and feeding on honeydew prolongs its life. During periods when the eggs of the univoltine pests Thaumetopoea wilkinsoni and of T. pityocampa are unavailable, the parasitoid develops in the eggs of other insects.

Economic importance: Ooencyrtus pityocampae is an important natural enemy of T. wilkinsoni and of T. pityocampa. It prefers to parasitize eggs that are placed at the top of the pests’ egg-batches. Being polyphagous, it has been mass-reared in various laboratories on the eggs of some Hemiptera and Lepidopteran, highest fecundity being obtained in females that had developed in the eggs of the silkworm (Bombyx mori (L.)). The parasitoid can be stored at 15ºC for 10 days without detrimental effects. If a host egg is also attacked by another parasitoid, O. pityocampe is usually the winner.


Binazzi, F., Peverieri, G.S, Benassi, D. and Roversi, P.F. 2015. The effects of short-term cold storage on the survival of the endoparasitoid Ooencyrtus pityocampe Mercet. Redia 98: 31-36.

Dulaurent, A.-M., Rossi, J.-P., Deborde, C., Moing, A., Menassieu, P. and Jactel, H. 2011. Honeydew feeding increased the longevity of two egg parasitoids of the pine processionary moth. Journal of Applied Entomology 135:184–194.

Halperin, J. 1990. Natural enemies of Thaumetopoea spp. (Lep., Thaumetopoeidae) in Israel. Journal of Applied Entomology 109: 425-435.

Kitt, J. and Schmidt, G.H. 1993. Parasitism of egg-batches of the pine processionary moth Thaumetopoea wilkinsoni Tams (Lep., Thaumetopoeidae) in the mountains of Lahav (Israel). Journal of Applied Entomology 115: 484–498.

Mirchev, P., Schmidt, G. H., Tsankov, G. and Avci, M. 2004. Egg parasitoids of Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Den. & Schiff.) (Lep.,Thaumetopoeidae) and their impact in SW Turkey. Journal of Applied Entomology 128 533-542.

Mohammadpour, M., Jalali, M.A., Michaud, J.P., Ziaaddini, M. and Hashemirad, H. 2014. Multiparasitism of stink bug eggs: competitive interactions between Ooencyrtus pityocampae and Trissolcus agriope. Biocontrol 59: 279–286.

Samra, S., Ghanim, M., Protasov, A. and Mendel, Z. 2016. Comparative study of development parameters of four Ooencyrtus spp. (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) on natural and factitious hosts. Journal of Applied Entomology 140: 334-345.

H. Tunca, H., Colombel, E.-A., Ben Soussan, T. M., Buradino, M., Galio, F. and Tabone, E. 2016. Optimal biological parameters for rearing Ooencyrtus pityocampae on the new laboratory host Philosamia ricini. 140: 527-535.