Effects of Sweet Alyssum Flowers on the Longevity of the Parasitoid Wasps Cotesia Marginiventris (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Diadegma insulare (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)

Denise L. Johanowicz and Everett R. Mitchell

Abstract


The effects of sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) (Brassicaceae) flowers on the longevity of two augmentatively-released parasitoids, Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Diadegma insulare (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), were studied in a greenhouse experiment. C. marginiventris and D. insulare survived approximately 4.8 and 12.7 times longer, respectively, when provisioned with honey or with sweet alyssum than with water alone. Sweet alyssum planted in northern Florida cabbage fields may be one way to improve biological control by augmentatively-released natural enemies of lepidopteran pests by increasing adult parasitoid longevity during times when few wild plants are in bloom.

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