Chrysodeixis chalcites give damage in growing sweetpeppers from spring to autumn. In the past, especially in the greenhouse spontaneously occurring wasps or wasps of related species were included in the research programs. This gave unsatisfactory results. This may caused by wasps were not adjusted to the aggressive behavior of this caterpillar.
This research was focussed to trace specialized wasp in the native area of C. chalcites, among others in Spain. Species that were found are the egg parasite ‘Trichogramma sp.’, a solitary wasp ‘Hyposoter didymator’ and a gregarious wasp ‘Cotesia Vanessa’. Regarding searching ability and population growth in the greenhouse , they were all successful.
Interesting for research
For growers primarily a egg parasite is interesting because this one avoid most of the damage. Trials in commercial greenhouses must confirm the good results. Moreover Trichogramma species are easy to rear.
Unfortunately there are no suitable rearing methods yet for mass production of H. didymator and C. vanesae.
Microplitis spinolae is a newcomer, detected in a Dutch greenhouse. This specie produces two different kind of pupae. Probably one to overwinter. This makes M. spinola interesting for research.
The research was sponsored by Productschap Tuinbouw and Koppert.