What the Wasps Like

Corrected information on parasitoid wasp study

What the Wasps Like

Entomology PhD student Abdulla Ali’s dissertation project, “Captive Rearing and Semiochemical Ecology of Trichogramma papilionis (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae),” was mischaracterized in the May 4 story “Fighting Insects With Insects.” CTAHR Notes apologizes for the error.

A Tiny Stingless Wasp

Abdulla’s project is on T. papilionis, a tiny stingless wasp that is an egg parasitoid. The insect lays its eggs in other insects’ eggs, keeping them from hatching, Abdullah addressed aspects of the mass rearing of T. papilionis, including the effects of varied colony founder size on wasp fitness and factors allowing the wasps locate egg hosts in which to lay their eggs.

First, Abdulla looked at what happens when a colony of wasps is started with just a single breeding female. This inbreeding didn’t change the amount of eggs laid per female over 10 generations, suggesting the imposed bottleneck didn’t result in reduced female fecundity. However, the number of founders of a colony did affect the emergence rate and sex ratio.

During the study, it was discovered that T. papilionis searched poorly in corn, the target crop for biocontrol. So Abdulla shifted to looking at their searching behavior in terms of chemical cues. He hypothesized the wasps are attracted to volatile chemicals put out by the host’s eggs or by the plant the host feeds on.

He discovered that captive-reared wasps actively prefer odors from corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea) eggs, with only a neutral response to eggs of the Mediterranean flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella). Further, the wasps were attracted to volatile emissions from sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) over maize (Zea mays), as long as both plants were infested with H. zea eggs. No preference was observed for plants not infested with H. zea eggs.

Abdulla’s findings underscore the importance of interactions between natural enemies, herbivores, and host plants in influencing insect behavior, and how variable environments impact parasitoid wasps. His results may help improve the efficacy of natural enemies of pests in augmentative and conservation biocontrol.

Since semiochemical cues can positively or negatively affect the response of parasitic wasps, this may provide an understanding of ecology that could help growers to achieve field parasitism and better pest management.


Campus Reopening

Provost Bruno will host virtual forum 2:00 p.m. Thursday (TOMORROW)

On-Target Genome Editing

Study aimed at children’s diseases could help boost agricultural production

A Garden Isle Welcome

New county administrator joins the Kaua‘i Extension ‘ohana

‘Awa, Anyone?

Pu‘u O Hoku Ranch offers a CTAHR-exclusive discount

What Lies Beneath…

Find out June 30 how plant roots influence the soil in which they grow

Convocation Memories

Links to Spring 2020 graduation video and grads now available

How Can We Help?

Human Development and Family Sciences develops a quick guide to coping

4-H Ali‘i

Join the June 25th online ceremony for 4-H supporters

Plant Guardian

Extension’s Amjad Ahmad will represent Hawai‘i for national germplasm collection

Owl Right!

On June 30, NREM grad student will discuss endemic, endangered pueo

Food for Grandfamilies

Maui Extension pairs elders and food trucks for meals and education

Get It Covered

Western SARE is conducting a cover crop survey

Taking Home a Bronze

Voice of the Sea episode about CTAHR wins a Telly Award

More Anthurium

Master’s thesis project investigates anthurium propagation

No Fire on the Farm

Learn how to assess and reduce the risk of wildfire on agricultural lands

Virtual Benefits Fair

All-day event offers online workshops 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m.

Runoff and Hawaiʻi Coral

Master’s thesis investigates the human impact on native soft octocoral

Start Your Startup

Shidler College of Business offers assistance to new entrepreneurs

Get Your CFAP On

USDA provides financial assistance to agriculture


In-person safety training TODAY at 10:00 a.m. at Magoon

The Roots of Farming

Cooperative Extension offers a virtual potato production workshop

ADSC Is Closed to Samples

Last-minute construction changes adversely affect ADSC’s ability to provide diagnostics.

Nutrition Outreach

Professor honored for obesity prevention locally and internationally

‘Olena Online

Virtual turmeric webinar and drive-up cultivar distribution