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Use of ablated stalks to assess field rates of parasitism of Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) by Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

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We evaluated a technique that used ablated sections of corn stalks infested with larvae of Diatraea saccharalis F. to assess parasitism by Cotesia flavipes (Cameron) in a corn field. Stalkborer larvae were retrieved successfully from the artificially infested, ablated stalks for at least 96 h after deployment in the field. Levels of parasitism in ablated stalks attached to corn plants were comparable to levels of parasitism measured using whole plants that were artificially infested. Olfactometer comparisons showed preference by female C. flavipes for both whole plants and ablated stalks containing larval D. saccharalis , over uninfested stalks and plants. This technique provides a means to estimate parasitism of stalkborer larvae by C. flavipes without destructive sampling of agronomic plants.
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Keywords: Cotesia flavipes; Crambidae; Diatraea saccharalis; Stalkborer; biological control; olfactometer; parasitization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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