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Composite Asymmetry as an Indicator of Quality in the Beneficial Wasp Trichogramma nr. brassicae (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)

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Trichogramma are egg parasitoids that are widely cultured for the control of moth pests in commercial insectaries. Stock quality is often maintained by releasing wasps from a mass culture in an area with target host eggs and initiating fresh stocks from parasitized eggs. Here we test if variability among individuals as measured by fluctuating asymmetry can be used as an additional method of quality control in Trichogramma nr. brassicae by comparing fluctuating asymmetry levels between a random sample of wasps before release and wasps that successfully reach host eggs. Although the asymmetry of individual traits was not associated with wasp fitness, a total asymmetry measure based on combining the uncorrelated asymmetries of nine traits did predict the ability of wasps to reach the eggs.

Keywords: Trichogramma nr. brassicae; composite index; fitness; fluctuating asymmetry; mass rearing; quality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-94.4.826

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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