DESCRIPTION: Aphelinus abdominalis is a specialized parasitoid wasp 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.
Information courtesy of Syngenta Bioline
TARGET PEST: aphids, specifically foxglove and potato aphids
USE IN BIOLOGICAL CONTROL: Aphelinus is best suited for preventing outbreaks of aphids early in risk periods. It may also be used at higher rates and in conjunction with other biocontrols to bring moderate infestations under control.
- Preventative 2-5 per 100 sq ft. weekly or as needed.
- Curative 10-25 per 100 sq ft. weekly or as needed.
- Remove sticky cards prior to release and leave bottle in space for continued emergence from mummies.
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