Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 23, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The parasitic wasps of the genus Trichogramma are among the most widely used insect biological control agents in the world. Currently, however, mass rearing of Trichogramma requires the use of mass reared host material, the eggs of Sitotroga cerealella, for example. Thus, mass rearing of Trichogramma is expensive and automated rearing systems are difficult to develop. We developed artificial diets that contain no insect components, which support the development of Trichogramma to the adult stage. Though additional improvements will be required for the development of a commercially viable artificial diet, these findings will contribute to the development of automated artificial diet based rearing systems for these important parasitoids. Such rearing systems will reduce production costs and increase production capacity, making the use of these important biological control agents in pest management programs more competitive and practical.
Trichogramma minutum Riley and Trichogramma brassicae Bezdenko (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) were cultured in vitro from eggs to adults on artificial diets, which contained no insect components. The diets contained ultracentrifuged chicken egg yolk, milk, Grace's Insect Medium, and yeast extract. The most important components were the yeast extract and ultracentrifuged chicken egg yolk. Addition of the sediment of ultracentrifuged chicken egg yolk to a diet containing yeast extract enhanced yield of pupae 2.2 fold and of adults 2.7 fold. Based on numbers of first instars and pupae, respectively, the best diet produced 94% pupae and 28% adults of T. minutum.