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Host-Foraging Success of Three Species of Trichogramma (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) in a Simulated Retail Environment

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Three species of trichogrammatid egg parasitoids (Trichogramma deion Pinto & Oatman, Trichogramma ostriniae Pang & Chen, and Trichogramma pretiosum Riley) (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) were evaluated under laboratory conditions as potential biological control agents for the Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), on retail shelves. A single shelving unit was used in each trial and a grid of sentinel egg disks was used to evaluate foraging success. The shelving consisted of pallet units with five shelves that were either bare or stocked with empty cereal boxes. In each replicate, ≈500 female Trichogramma were released at the center of the shelving unit and allowed to forage for 48 h. Percentage of egg parasitism and percentage of host egg mortality were recorded after 7 d. Foraging success as well as the spatial pattern of parasitism differed significantly among the three Trichogramma species. Percentage of egg parasitism was ≈4 times greater for T. deion than for T. ostriniae or T. pretiosum. The vertical distribution of parasitism by T. deion was also more uniform than for the other two species. In addition, the presence of packaging affected the foraging efficiency of T. ostriniae and T. pretiosum but not T. deion. Based on these findings, Trichogramma deion may be the best-suited candidate for augmentative biological control of P. interpunctella in retail stores, and a central release point of T. deion will likely provide adequate coverage of products on pallet-type shelving.

Keywords: augmentative biological control; habitat complexity; retail stores; stored-products

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • 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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