Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2000
Publication Date: 9/1/2001
Interpretive Summary: The diamondback moth is one of the most important insect pests of cruciferous crops (cabbage, broccoli, and mustard) worldwide. Growers traditionally have relied on pesticides to manage this and other insect pests. To help reduce problems caused by applying chemical pesticides, such as pesticide resistance, environmental pollution, and increasing material and application costs, scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) at Gainesville, Florida, are developing an integrated pest management program for insect pests in Florida cabbage. One component of the program includes releases of natural enemies, such as the parasitic wasp Diadegma insulare, to help control pest populations. Large numbers of these beneficial insects are needed for releases, so we are developing methods to more efficiently rear D. insulare in the laboratory. Diadegma currently is reared on diamondback larvae feeding on fresh plant material, an expensive and generally inefficient process. In this study, we found that addition of cabbage flour to the surface of diamondback moth-infested artificial diet cakes increased larval parasitism and number of daughters produced by D. insulare compared to larvae feeding on plain artificial diet. Incorporation of this method into a D. insulare rearing program could result in significant savings in production costs.
Technical Abstract: The addition of cabbage flour to the surface of diamondback moth - infested artificial diet cakes was shown to increase the percent of parasitism and the numbers of daughters produced by the host-specific, larval- endoparasitoid Diadegma insulare. This may be a useful method to integrate into a D. insulare rearing program.