Project Number: 5303-21220-005-03-N
Project Type: Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Mar 15, 2009
End Date: May 15, 2012
Evaluate the potential for permanent establishment of a Moroccan strain of Peristenus relictus in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California by 1) assessing the incidence of parasitism within a localized population of immatures of the western tarnished plant bug (Lygus hesperus) resulting from inoculative releases of P. relictus, and 2) documenting the persistence of P. relictus populations following releases.
A plot of alfalfa 1-2 acres in area and divided into three sub-plots will be established and managed without insecticides. Alfalfa will be regularly mowed in narrow, alternating strips to maximize survival of lygus nymphs. Parasitoids will be introduced through periodic inoculative releases (once or twice per month) during spring and summer months. During the first two years, population indices for lygus nymphs will be obtained by sampling before initial parasitoid release (early spring) and after the final release (August or September) and the incidence of parasitism will be estimated from the dissection of late-instar nymphs. During the third year of the project, lygus population indices and estimates of parasitism will be obtained periodically (biweekly) throughout the spring and summer months. Overwintering potential and establishment of the parasitoid will be determined based on the incidence of parasitism observed in late-winter or early-spring lygus collections. Documents NFCA with CDFA. Formerly 5303-21220-003-12N (11/10).