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Fopius arisanus (Sonan, 1932) is an egg-pupal parasitoid of Tephritid fruit flies. This Braconid wasp has been utilized for biological control of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), as well as many other Tephritid species, which are economic pests world-wide. F. arisanus lays its eggs into the egg of the host fly, and develop during egg and larvae stages to emerge from pupa of the host as an adult wasp. Foundational genomic and transcriptomic information in this species serve as a tool to help in understanding the underlying mechanisms that contribute to parasitism behavior, describing the physiology and biology of host selection and host/parasitoid interactions, the design of better biological control strategies, and the development of monitoring tools for parasitism rate in the field. In addition, to our knowledge, this is the first member of the Opiinae to have significant molecular data collected from it, which includes many important parasitoids used for biological control (e.g. Diachasmimorpha sp. and Psyttalia sp.) and can be used in comparative genomics with other sequenced hymenopterans. Like other hymenopterans, this species is haplodiploid, with females being diploid and males haploid. To generate this assembly, we pooled haploid males from a single unmated female to reduce heterozygosity of the assembly, essentially representing the genome of the parental female.
Image author and copyright: Amy Carmichael, Queensland University of Technology, Image source (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License)