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Overwintering of Trichogramma ostriniae (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) within target and non-target host eggs

Gardner, Jeffrey, Yong, Tze-Hei, Pitcher, Sylvie A., Hoffmann, Michael P.
Biocontrol science and technology 2013 v.23 no.4 pp. 367-380
Ephestia kuehniella, Helicoverpa zea, Ostrinia nubilalis, Trichogramma, Trichoplusia ni, Utetheisa ornatrix, adults, biological control, biological control agents, eggs, exposure duration, natural enemies, overwintering, parasitism, parasitoids, photoperiod, progeny, regression analysis, spring, temperature, winter, China, New York
Trichogramma ostriniae was imported into the USA from China and it continues to be evaluated as a biological control agent against the European corn borer and other lepidopteran pest species. A natural enemy's ability to overwinter is a facet of its biology with important ramifications for biological control and non-target effects. Thus, studies were conducted to examine the ability of the introduced egg parasitoid to survive over winters in central New York State. Eggs of Ostrinia nubilalis , Ephestia kuehniella , Trichoplusia ni , Helicoverpa zea and Utetheisa ornatrix were subjected to parasitism by adult T. ostriniae and then placed out of doors and exposed to winter conditions. For trials initiated in 2003 and 2004, the adult parental wasps were exposed to a diapause-inducing photoperiod and temperature regime in the laboratory; in 2010, parental wasps were conditioned out of doors and prior to the onset of winter conditions. Emergence of their progeny was monitored over time by taking aliquots of parasitised eggs, and holding them under warm conditions until emergence was complete. The level of wasp emergence generally displayed a decline followed by gradual increase until spring. Levels of overwintering ranged from 1% for O. nubilalis to 76% for E. kuehniella , and logistic regression indicated that the odds of overwintering was dependent on the year, host species, time out of doors and varied over exposure time depending on host. The potential to overwinter in New York was further confirmed by positive identification of T. ostriniae from naturally occurring O. nubilalis eggs collected from field sites where augmentative releases had been made in previous years.