Trichogramma brassicae

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Egg parasitic wasp, Trichogramma brassicae are tiny about 0.9 to 1.5 mm in size wasps that can parasitize and kill eggs of different species of butterflies and moths, which are beautiful insects but devastating pests of many crops and ornamental plants.

Facts (show all)

+ Effective against the following pests
  • Armyworms, Spodoptera spp
  • Cabbage loopers, Trichoplusia ni
  • Codling moth, Cydia pomonella
  • Corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea
  • Cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera
  • Cutworms, Agrotis spp
  • Diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella
  • European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis
  • Fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea
  • Green fruitworm, Lithophane antennata
  • Gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar
  • Imported cabbage worms, Pieris rapae
  • Light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana
  • Oriental fruit moth, Graphiolitha molesta
  • Pyramidal fruitworm, Amphipyra pyramidoides
  • Speckled green fruitworms, Orthosia hibisci
  • Tent caterpillars, Malacosoma spp.
  • Tobacco hornworms, Manduca spp.
  • Tomato hornworms, Manduca spp.
  • Tomato pinworms, Keiferia lycopersicella
+ Biological Control of Lepidopterous (butterflies and moths) insects
  • As a biological control agents, Egg parasitic wasp, Trichogramma brassicae have a great potential to control Lepidopterous insect pets that are responsible to cause a tremendous damage to many crops grown either in the greenhouses or field.
  • Following are the main facts about egg parasitic wasp, Trichogramma brassicae.
- What are egg parasitic Trichogramma brassicaewasps?

Trichogramma brassicae are tiny about 0.9 to 1.5 mm in size wasps that can parasitize and kill eggs of different species of both butterflies and moths. Female wasps generally use combination of chemical and visual cues to locate right size of eggs. Each female wasp then lay over 200 eggs in the eggs laid by many moths and butterflies. Depending upon size and quality of host eggs, wasp females generally lay few eggs by making a hole in each host egg and are capable of parasitizing 10-15 host eggs per day . Inside the host eggs, Trichogramma eggs hatch into small larvae that immediately starts feeding on the host embryos and kill the developing moth or butterfly larvae/ caterpillars. While feeding on the host embryos, wasps can develop for a week and then emerge as adults that live for 10 days and life cycle continues. Depending upon availability of food (host eggs) and favorable environmental conditions, this wasps can complete over 30 generations per year. Adult wasps generally feed on nectar and honeydew.

+ How egg parasitic Trichogramma brassicae wasps kill and feed on host eggs?
  • Eggs laid by female Trichogramma wasp inside the Lepidopterous host eggs hatch into small larvae that immediately starts feeding on the host embryos and kill the developing moth or butterfly larvae/ caterpillars.
  • While feeding on the host embryos, wasps develop through immature stages and emerge as adults that seek and parasitize new batches of eggs laid by butterflies and moths.
  • Thus this wasp will help to prevent damage caused by lepidopterous insects early in the season.
+ Which stages of butterflies and moths are killed by egg parasitic Trichogramma brassicae wasps?
  • The eggs laid by butterflies and moths
+ How many egg parasitic Trichogramma brassicae wasps should be released?
  • To achieve considerable control of lepidopterous insect pests, it is generally recommended to release about 10 to 50 adult Trichogramma wasps per square meter area in the greenhouses and fields.
+ When is a right time to release egg parasitic Trichogramma brassicae wasps?
  • The best time to release ready-to-emerge Trichogramma brassicae when there are ample of eggs of lepidopterous insect (butterflies and moths) pests are present in the fields, gardens, greenhouses and orchards.
  • This timely release of wasps will help to kill the developing embryos of the host insects inside the eggs that in turn will reduce the outbreak of larvae/ caterpillars that are responsible for causing damage to field crops, greenhouse vegetables and ornamental plants, and fruits.
+ How to release egg parasitic Trichogramma brassicae wasps?
  • Trichogramma brassicae are generally shipped as pre-parasitized flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella) eggs that are placed on a cards and ready to emerge as adults.
  • Since adults of Trichogramma brassicae are not long-distance flyers, these cards with ready-to-emerge parasitized eggs should be placed or hanged randomly in the areas infested with lepidopterous insects including butterflies and moths in the fields, gardens, greenhouses and orchards. Also, make sure that cards are not directly exposed to sunlight.
+ Why you need egg parasitic Trichogramma brassicae wasp
  • they can reduce the crop damage by feeding on immature stages of butterflies and moths
  • they are very active in finding eggs of host insects
  • they can reproduce and continue their life cycle in the garden after first application
  • they are commercially available and easy to release in the greenhouses or fields
+ Why egg parasitic Trichogramma brassicae wasp are safer than traditional pesticides
  • they do not damage plants
  • 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 egg parasitic Trichogramma brassicae wasp
  • they do not harm humans, animals and pollute the environment
+ Research Papers
  • Bradley J. R., Thomson, L.J. and Hoffmann, A.A. 2004. Effects of Cold Storage on Field and Laboratory Performance of Trichogramma carverae (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) and the Response of Three Trichogramma spp. (T. carverae, T. nr. brassicae, and T. funiculatum) to Cold. Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 213-221.
  • Cerutti, F. and Bigler, F. 2011. Quality assessment of Trichogramma brassicae in the laboratory. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 75: 19–26.
  • Greatti, M. and Zandigiacomo, P. 2009. Postrelease dispersal of Trichogramma brassicae Bezdenko in corn fields. Journal of Applied Entomology 119: 671–675.
  • Kuske, S., Widmer, F., Edwards, P.J., Turlings, T.C.J., Babendreier, D. and Bigler, F. 2003. Dispersal and persistence of mass released Trichogramma brassicae (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) in non-target habitats. Biological Control 27: 181-193.
  • Lundgren, J.G., Heimpel, G.E. and Bomgren, S.A. 2002. Comparison of Trichogramma brassicae (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) Augmentation with organic and synthetic pesticides for control of Cruciferous Lepidoptera. Environmental Entomology 31: 1231-1239.
  • Mertz, B. P., Fleischer, S. J., Calvin, D. D., Ridgway, R. L. 1995. Field Assessment of Trichogramma brassicae (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) and Bacillus thuringiensis for Control of Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Sweet Corn. Journal of Economic Entomology 88: 1616-1625.

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