Student Symposium: Alternatives to Chemical Control of Insects: Eucharitidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea): Biology and Potential for Biological Control
The biology of Eucharitidae is summarized, and the potential for biological control of ant pests using members of this family is reviewed. The morphology, habits, and life histories of these wasps are described. Their associations with thrips, and with plants during oviposition, are considered. The need for comparing infested and uninfested host colonies in a controlled setting is stressed. Aspects of eucharitid biology that may affect their use in biocontrol are examined, including dispersal, levels of parasitism, and possible synergistic effects with other natural enemies. Possible conflicts of interest in the use of these wasps for biocontrol are considered.