Aphid Parasite, Aphidius matricariae

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Aphid endoparasitic wasp Aphidius matricariae adults are blackish in color with 2-3 mm long and slender bodied insects. This endoparasitic aphid wasp is commercially available and used to control different types of aphids that cause a serious damage to many economically important crops grown in the greenhouses and outdoors.

Facts (show all)

- Parasitic aphid wasp, Aphidius matricariae are effective against following species of aphids
  • Bean aphid, Aphis fabae
  • Cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii
  • Green peach aphid, Myzus persicae
  • Pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum
  • Potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae
  • Tobacco aphid,Myzus nicotianae
+ Key factors for effectiveness of endoparasitic aphid wasp,Aphidius matricariae
  • For effective control of aphids, release one Aphidius matricariae wasp adult per 20 sqft of aphid infested area.
  • Endoparasitic aphid wasp Aphidius matricariae adults are very active searchers even at very low population densities of their hosts.
  • Aphidius matricariae uses volatile chemical cues released from host-aphid-damaged plants to located colonies of host aphids.
  • Once Aphidius matricariae wasp finds an aphid colony, they use both visual and olfactory cues to find an appropriate size aphid to lay eggs.
  • When females of Aphidius matricariae wasp find an appropriate size aphid, they use their ovipositors to lay a single egg inside the aphid host.
  • Then eggs hatch inside the aphid and the hatched larvae start feeding and developing into pupae and then into adult.
  • This parasitized aphid then bloat, dies and its body becomes crispy that referred to as mummy, which is typically golden to brown or black in color.
  • After 14- 15 days, adult wasps will start emerging from mummies and life cycle continues.
  • If ants are present on aphid infested plants in your garden or greenhouse, control them first before releasing Aphidius matricariae wasps as ants will defend aphids from predators and parasites to protect their honeydew food. If ants are not controlled, effectiveness of wasps as a parasite will be reduced.
  • Aphidius matricariae wasp performs better against aphids when aphid population is at very low level in the garden.
  • As adult Aphidius matricariae wasps are generally attracted to yellow sticky traps and get killed before they can parasitize aphids by laying eggs in aphid body, remove all the yellow sticky traps used for whitefly control before releasing wasps in your gardens, greenhouse, fields and orchards.
  • The preventive applications of Aphidius matricariae will prevent out-break of certain species of aphids.
+ How Aphidius matricariae are applied in the greenhouses or fields
  • Aphidius matricariae are generally shipped as ready-to-use pre-emerged/pre-fed adults in small vials.
  • When package is arrived and you are not ready to release Aphidius matricariae wasps in your garden, store packages in a cool place and avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
  • It is always better to release these wasps in the field within 15-20 hours of their arrival or storage.
  • As a preventive measure, release adult wasps by opening vials and walking slowly in the garden. Adult wasps should escape themselves from the vials.
  • As a curative measure, wasp adults should be released directly in the colonies of aphids or in the heavily infested areas with aphids in the vegetable gardens, greenhouses or fields.
  • Under favorable environmental conditions and if there is enough food around, these parasites may recycle continuously and help to keep the aphid population under economic threshold level.
+ How Aphidius matricariae wasps work in the greenhouses or fields
  • Aphidius matricariae are generally shipped as ready-to-use pre-emerged/pre-fed adults in vials.
  • When Aphidius matricariae wasp adults are applied in the vegetable gardens, greenhouses or fields, they will be attracted to aphid colonies by responding to the smell of honeydews secreted by aphids on the infested plants or to the volatile chemicals from aphid damaged plants.
  • When adult wasps come across to colonies of aphids, they will select a suitable size aphid using their antennae and vision to lays in aphid body.
  • Once an appropriate size aphid is found, adult wasp using its ovipositor lay eggs inside aphid body.
  • Wasp eggs hatch within the aphid body and hatched young larvae start feeding on the body content of aphid, complete its development and pupate within the aphid body.
  • The parasitized dead aphids will then turn into crispy, gold to brown or black colored mummies.
  • After 14- 15 days, adult wasps will start emerging from mummies, life cycle will continue and they will continue to suppress the population of host aphids that are responsible for causing economic damage to many crops grown in your gardens or fields.
+ Why you need endoparasitic wasp Aphidius matricariae
  • they can reduce the crop damage by parasitizing and killing various host species of aphids, which are responsible for the crop damage
  • they can parasitize and kill all different stages of their aphid hosts
  • they are able to actively search for their aphid hosts, parasitize and kill them
  • they can reproduce and continue their life cycle on aphids in your garden after first application
  • they are commercially available and easy to apply in the greenhouses or fields
+ Why parasitic wasps are safer than traditional pesticides
  • they do not cause damage to plants
  • they can be used and applied around children and pets
  • they do not cause any harm to the personnel involved in their production and application
  • food products are safe to handle and eat when they are treated with wasps
  • they do not harm humans, animals and pollute the environment
+ Research Papers
  1. Sanchez, J.A., La-Spina, M., Michelena, J.M., Lacasa, A. and Hermoso de Mendoza, A. 2011. Ecology of the aphid pests of protected pepper crops and their parasitoids. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 21: 171-188.
  2. Rashki, M., Kharazi-pakdel, A., Allahyari, H. and J.J.M. 2009. Interactions among the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana (Ascomycota: Hypocreales), the parasitoid, Aphidius matricariae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), and its host, Myzus persicae (Homoptera: Aphididae). Biological Control 50: 324-328.

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Aphid Parasite, Aphidius matricariae

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