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Article

More Power with Flower for the Pupal Parasitoid Trichopria drosophilae: A Candidate for Biological Control of the Spotted Wing Drosophila

Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)—Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Biological Control, Heinrichstr. 243, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rosemary Collier
Insects 2021, 12(7), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070628
Received: 31 May 2021 / Revised: 28 June 2021 / Accepted: 6 July 2021 / Published: 10 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Integrated Pest Management Strategies for Horticultural Crops)
Parasitic wasps are important natural enemies of the spotted wing drosophila, an invasive fruit pest. Releases of mass reared wasps require the presence of all resources necessary to ensure their effectiveness in the crop system. We investigated the utility of floral resources to feed Trichopria drosophilae, one of the candidate species, in a laboratory study. Survival of males and females increased by three to four times when they had access to flowers of buckwheat or of two cultivars of sweet alyssum. The number of offspring produced was also much higher for flower-fed wasps. Given that almost a threefold increase in overall fitness of the wasps was observed, it is advisable to introduce flowering plants into the crop system to enhance their activity for biological control of the spotted wing drosophila. However, any unwanted advantages on the pest itself need to be carefully avoided.
Parasitoids are currently considered for biological control of the spotted wing drosophila (SWD) in berry crops. Releases of mass-reared parasitoids require the presence of all resources necessary to ensure their effectiveness in the crop system. The use of floral resources to feed Trichopria drosophilae, one of the candidate species, was investigated in a laboratory study. The life expectancy of males and females increased by three to four times when they had access to flowers of buckwheat or of two cultivars of sweet alyssum. Female realized lifetime fecundity increased from 27 offspring/female exposed to water only to 69 offspring/female exposed to buckwheat flowers. According to this almost threefold increase in parasitoid fitness, it is advisable to introduce flowering plants into the crop system, when parasitoid releases are carried out. Sweet alyssum offers the advantage of not growing too tall in combination with an extended blooming. However, adult SWD were also able to feed on flowers of both plants and survived for at least 27 days, much longer than starving flies. The introduction of flowering plants to promote natural enemies therefore requires further consideration of the risk–benefit balance under field conditions to prevent unintended reinforcement of this pest. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological control; nutrition; flower resources; Drosophila suzukii biological control; nutrition; flower resources; Drosophila suzukii
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MDPI and ACS Style

Herz, A.; Dingeldey, E.; Englert, C. More Power with Flower for the Pupal Parasitoid Trichopria drosophilae: A Candidate for Biological Control of the Spotted Wing Drosophila. Insects 2021, 12, 628. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070628

AMA Style

Herz A, Dingeldey E, Englert C. More Power with Flower for the Pupal Parasitoid Trichopria drosophilae: A Candidate for Biological Control of the Spotted Wing Drosophila. Insects. 2021; 12(7):628. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070628

Chicago/Turabian Style

Herz, Annette, Eva Dingeldey, and Camilla Englert. 2021. "More Power with Flower for the Pupal Parasitoid Trichopria drosophilae: A Candidate for Biological Control of the Spotted Wing Drosophila" Insects 12, no. 7: 628. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12070628

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