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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY BASED MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE INSECT PESTS AND WEEDS

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit

Title: Notes on the ovipositional behavior of Trichogramma fuentesi (Hymenoptera:Trichogrammatidae), an egg parasitoid of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae)

Authors
item Paraiso, Oulimathe -
item Hight, Stephen
item Kairo, Moses T.K. -
item Bloem, Stephanie -

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 20, 2013
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Citation: Paraiso, O., Hight, S.D., Kairo, M., Bloem, S. 2013. Notes on the ovipositional behavior of Trichogramma fuentesi (Hymenoptera:Trichogrammatidae), an egg parasitoid of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae). Florida Entomologist. 96(4):1606-1608.

Interpretive Summary: A small wasp in Florida was found attacking eggs of the invasive Argentine cactus moth. This moth continues to spread and has raised concerns about this insect’s unavoidable and unwanted impact on native, agricultural, and ornamental cactus in its new homeland. Scientists with USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are looking into ways to control the cactus moth, including natural enemies such as the egg-attacking wasp. In general, female wasps walked on the host egg, drummed over the surface with their antennae, drilled into the moth egg, and deposited an egg. Grooming and resting behaviors were observed infrequently and host feeding was never recorded. In a typical observation period, female parasitoids spent 16% of their time drumming, 4% drilling, and 8% egg laying into the selected host. Most of the oviposition behaviors happened in the first hour.

Technical Abstract: Trichogramma fuentesi Torre (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) is an arrhenotokous egg parasitoid of Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). The parasitoid was identified attacking C. cactorum eggs at several north Florida locations in 2010 (Paraiso et al. 2011). Low incidence of this natural enemy in the field suggested a need for inundative releases of this parasitoid if it were to exert pressure on wild C. cactorum populations. Effect of important biological parameters on the efficiency of parasitoid mass rearing has been evaluated. However, basic parasitoid behaviors were examined to improve manipulation of the parasitoid populations. Our study characterized host searching and the oviposition sequence of T. fuentesi. In general, female wasps walked to a C. cactorum egg, drummed over the surface, drilled into the chorion, and deposited an egg. Grooming and resting behaviors were observed infrequently and host feeding was never recorded. In a typical observation period of 60 min with eggs of the exotic C. cactorum, female parasitoids spent 16% of their time drumming, 4% drilling, and 8% egg laying into the selected host. Most of the oviposition behaviors happened in the first hour.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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