Egg parasitic wasps, Trichogramma platneri

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Both Trichogramma minutum and Trichogramma platneri are tiny about 0.5 to 1.5 mm long pale yellow colored wasps that have a wide host range. These wasps can parasitize and kill the eggs of many different species of both butterflies and moths that belong to an insect order called Lepidoptera. Females of these wasps generally lay eggs inside the eggs of moths and butterflies. These was females use their ovipositor to drill through their host eggs to deposit 1 to 3 of their own 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, wasp larvae develop through different stages and then emerge as adults and life cycle continues.

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
  • Grape berry moth, Endopiza viteana
  • 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
  • Spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana
  • Tobacco hornworms, Manduca spp.
  • Tomato hornworms, Manduca spp.
  • Tomato pinworms, Keiferia lycopersicella
+ Key factors for Trichogramma platneri/minutum effectiveness
  • Trichogramma wasp females lay eggs inside the lepidopterous host eggs.
  • Inside the host eggs, wasp eggs hatch into small larvae that immediately starts feeding on the host embryos and kill the developing moth or butterfly larvae/ caterpillars.
  • This means that the dead host eggs will not hatch into larvae/ caterpillars that are damaging to many crops.
  • 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.
+ How egg parasitic wasps Trichogramma platneri/minutum works in the field
  1. Trichogramma wasp females lay eggs inside the lepidopterous host eggs.
  2. Inside the host eggs, wasp eggs hatch into small larvae that immediately starts feeding on the host embryos and kill the developing moth or butterfly larvae/ caterpillars.
  3. This means that the dead host eggs will not hatch into larvae/ caterpillars that are damaging to many crops.
  4. 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.
  5. Thus this wasp will help to prevent damage caused by lepidopterous insects early in the season.
+ Which stages of lepidopterous insects are killed by egg parasitic wasps, Trichogramma platneri/minutum?
  • Eggs
+ How many egg parasitic wasps, Trichogramma platneri/minutum should be released?
  • To achieve considerable control of lepidopterous insect pests, it is generally recommended to release about 25 adult Trichogramma wasps per square foot area in the greenhouses and fields.
+ When and how egg parasitic wasps, Trichogramma platneri/minutum should be released for the effective control of lepidopterous insects?
  • The best time to release ready-to-emerge Trichogramma minutum and Trichogramma platneri wasps 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 ornamentals, and fruits.
  • Both Trichogramma minutum and Trichogramma platneri wasps are generally shipped as pupae ready to emerge as adults.
  • These pupae are generally glued to perforated cards, which are easy to hang on the plants or place evenly in the gardens, fields, greenhouses or orchards.
  • Release these wasp pupae in the evening or early in the morning in the fields, gardens, greenhouses and orchards that are infested with lepidopterous insects including butterflies and moths.
  • For even distribution of the cards, cut them along the perforated lines into smaller squares.
  • Also, make sure that cards are not exposed to sunlight.
  • If you are not ready to place these cards in the targeted area, store them in a shady place to avoid their direct exposure to sunlight.
+ Why you need them
  • they can reduce the crop damage by feeding on the eggs of lepidopterous insects so there are no larvae of these insects left in the field to cause damage to crops.
  • they are able to actively search for their host, the different species of lepidopterous 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 they 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 wasps, Trichogramma platneri/minutum
  • they do not harm humans, animals and pollute the environment
+ Research Papers
  1. Borghuis, A., Pinto, J.D., Platner, G.R. and Stouthamer, R. 2004. Partial cytochrome oxidase II sequences distinguish the sibling species Trichogramma minutum Riley and Trichogramma platneri Nagarkatti. Biological Control 30: 90-94.
  2. Mansfield, S. and Mills, N.J. 2004. A comparison of methodologies for the assessment of host preference of the gregarious egg parasitoid Trichogramma platneri. Biological Control 29: 332-340.
  3. Nagarkatti, S., Tobin, P.C., Saunders, M.C. and Muza, A.J. 2013. Release of native Trichogramma minutum to control grape berry moth. Canadian Entomologist 135: 589-598.
  4. Nevarez, G.G. and Rivero, S.H.T. 2013. Efficacy of Trichogramma platneri (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) for the biological control of Acrobasis nuxvorella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and Cydia caryana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Southwestern Entomologist 38: 523-530.
  5. Nisani, Z. and Honda, J.Y. 2010. Does the polyphagous egg parasitoid Trichogramma platneri Nagarkatti (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) display behavioral plasticity when parasitizing different hosts? Journal of Insect Behavior 23: 81-89.
  6. Quayle, D., Regniere, J., Cappuccino, N. and Dupont, A. 2013. Forest composition, host-population density, and parasitism of spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana eggs by Trichogramma minutum. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 107. 215-227.

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