Markers are essential to study movements of insects in their natural habitat. Among the available techniques, trace elements may be applied to insects as small as parasitoids. Rubidium is the most common element used for marking insects. In this study, we propose a simple marking technique for Aphidius rhopalosiphi De Stefani Perez with Rb, when reared on the grain aphid Sitobion avenae Fabricius (Hemiptera: Aphididae) marked on a RbCl incorporated diet. Our results show that the rubidium in an artificial diet is transferred to the aphid and eventually to the parasitoid. The content in rubidium marking did not differ between genders. The aphids stung by a marked parasitoid could not be distinguished from unmarked aphids on the basis of their rubidium content. There were no effects of rubidium on size, fecundity, longevity and sex ratio of the parasitoid, but the marked individuals emerged significantly later than the unmarked. We did not detect differences concerning host acceptance by marked and unmarked parasitoids. This technique may be applicable to other aphidophagous insects after some preliminary evaluations.
Muratori, F., Perremans, D., & Hance, T. (2005). Rubidium marking of Aphidius rhopalosiphi (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on Sitobion avenae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) reared on a diet supplemented with RbCl. European Journal of Entomology, 102(3), 489–494. https://doi.org/10.14411/eje.2005.070