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Aphelinus abdominalis

$65.00

Aphelinus abdominalis

$65.00

TARGET PEST: Aphids

  • Aphelinus abdominalis is a specialized parasitoid of aphids. Female Aphelinus select aphids by palpating them with their antennae. Having located a host aphid of an appropriate size and species, the tip of the ovipositor is inserted into the ventral surface of the aphid and an egg is laid. The egg hatches within the aphid and the resulting larva consumes the body contents, finally feeding on vital organs when nearly fully grown. The aphid host continues to feed and grow during this process and may initially produce some offspring. As the development of the parasite larva proceeds this ceases. When the parasite larva is fully grown the host dies and a distinctive black mummy is formed. At (68°F) 20°C this occurs 7 days after parasitism. The mummy then takes a further 14 days to develop before an adult wasp emerges. In one of the principal hosts, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, Aphelinus prefers to parasitize second and third instar aphids. Larger aphids are less frequently attacked, while first and small, second instars are used as a source of food by the adults. This host feeding is an important source of mortality in the aphids, with each female A. abdominalis killing approximately 2 aphids per day. By host feeding, the parasite obtains a source of proteins, which allows it to continue development of eggs and so increase the total number of offspring it produces.

    In laboratory studies, each female is capable of producing an average of 250 or more offspring over a period of 3 weeks, with an average daily production of 14. Egg laying continues throughout the life of the female. This is in contrast to Aphidius, which produces a similar total number of offspring but does it over a much shorter period. It is unlikely that either Aphelinus will produce this number of offspring in a field situation.

    Aphelinus is sometimes criticized on the basis that it tends to walk over the crop rather than fly and does not therefore find hosts well. This can also be interpreted as meaning that it remains on the crop and does not leave the glasshouse as readily as parasites that fly more readily. The fact remains that Aphelinus is a widespread, common and successful parasite, and as such it is obviously well adapted to finding suitable hosts.

    Information courtesy of Syngenta Bioline

  • 2-25 per 100 square feet depending on pest severity, weekly or as needed.
  • Remove sticky cards prior to release. Release contents into your grow space and leave bottle in space turned upside down for continued emergence from mummies.
  • Orders for A. abdominalis must be received by noon on Thursday for shipment the following Wednesday. Live insects may not be shipped to Hawaii.