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Gainesville, FL, United States

Paraiso O.,Methods Development and Biological Control | Hight S.D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Kairo M.T.K.,University of Maryland Eastern Shore | Bloem S.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Florida Entomologist | Year: 2013

Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is a non-native moth attacking prickly pear cactus, Opuntia spp., in southeastern U.S. The insect is also an important threat to ecological systems and to native and endangered Opuntia spp. in southwestern USA. The egg parasitoid Trichogramma fuentesi Torre (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) was discovered attacking wild C. cactorum in Florida. To evaluate the potential effect of inundative releases of T. fuentesi against C. cactorum, the host searching behavior of T. fuentesi on C. cactorum eggs and host suitability of selected lepidopteran eggs were studied in the laboratory. Host suitability was studied on the native blue cactus moth, Melitara prodenialis Walker, and 6 selected species of butterfly eggs [Danaus plexippus (L.), Dryas iulia (Hübner), Junonia coenia (Hübner), Papilio glaucus (L.), Papilio polyxenes (F.), and Vanessa cardui (L.)] to assess the potential for non-target effects from T. fuentesi. The proportion of parasitism of the native cactus moth (M. prodenialis) was 98%; significantly higher than the non-native cactus moth, C. cactorum (11% average parasitism rate). The high proportion of parasitism for all native non-target species tested and the lowest proportion of parasitism for the exotic target species suggested that T. fuentesi not be considered for inundative releases in a biological control approach against C. cactorum. Source


Chen X.,University of Florida | Rohrig E.,Methods Development and Biological Control | Stansly P.A.,University of Florida
Florida Entomologist | Year: 2013

Carbon dioxide anesthesia is a convenient tool for manipulating insects, but can cause deleterious side effects. In this case, a 5 min exposure of Tamarixia radiata adults to 100% CO2 concentration caused a knockdown of about 4 min, significantly reduced survivorship and fecundity, but did not affect the sex ratio of progeny from treated adults. Future research will focus on using less concentrated doses or shorter exposure times to inactivate the wasps in order to improve survival and fecundity. Source


Paraiso O.,Methods Development and Biological Control | Smith T.R.,Methods Development and Biological Control | Hight S.D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Davis B.J.,Methods Development and Biological Control
Florida Entomologist | Year: 2014

This study compared several biological parameters of native cactus moth, Melitara prodenialis, reared on an artificial versus the natural diet of Opuntia spp. cladodes. Results suggest that the current artificial diet developed for mass rearing C. cactorum can provide nutritional value for the rearing of Melitara spp. native cactus moths. Overall, rearing M. prodenialis on the artificial diet was more successful than on Opuntia cladodes and required less time and labor. Mass rearing of M. prodenialis using artificial diet should improve once subsequent generations become adapted to laboratory rearing conditions. Source


Paraiso O.,Methods Development and Biological Control | Hight S.D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Kairo M.T.K.,University of Maryland Eastern Shore | Bloem S.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Florida Entomologist | Year: 2013

Our study characterized host searching and oviposition ability of T. fuentesi. In general, female wasps walked to a C. cactorum egg, drummed over the surface, drilled into the chorion, and deposited an egg. Grooming and resting behaviors were observed infrequently and host feeding was never recorded. In a typical observation period of 60 min with eggs of the exotic C. cactorum, female parasitoids spent 16% of their time drumming, 4% drilling, and 8% egg laying into the selected host. Most of the oviposition behaviors happened in the first hour. Source

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