Latania scale, Hemiberlesia lataniae
(Signoret), has become a major pest of avocado ( Persea americana
Mill.) in Chile
and has reached high populations in the fruit because of limited natural control. The objective of this study was to identify
the biological parameters of the parasitoid Aphytis diaspidis
(Howard) as a control agent of latania scale. Postembryonic
development, parasitoidism rate, and life table parameters of the parasitoid and scale were determined under laboratory
conditions. Aphytis diaspidis
postembryonic development and parasitoidism rate varied significantly when evaluated on
distinct latania scale stages with the highest survival (56%) occurring at the third scale stage, it also had the shortest
development time between egg and adult (19.14 d) and the highest parasitoidism rate (66%). The intrinsic growth rate
) was higher for A. diaspidis
= 0.099) than latania scale (rm
= 0.068). These laboratory results demonstrated that A.
is an effective parasitoid for decreasing H. lataniae
populations, especially in the third stage.