What is in this article?:
- Tiny, Stingless Wasps May Help Control Soybean Aphids
- Approved bug immigrants
- Insect interaction
- The Asian stingless wasp is controlling soybean aphids in Canadian fields.
- The wasp feeds only on soybean and cotton aphids.
- Hundreds of thousands will be released in replicated field trials in Minnesota this summer.
Small stingless wasps like these are killing soybean aphids in Ontario and in research laboratories. The insects are smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. The ones in Ontario appear to be headed to the U.S., and hundreds of thousands of a species being studied in the laboratory will be released this year.
Researchers are still learning about how these insects interact. Here are some of their observations and speculations about aphid and wasp lifecycles, and how they came to U.S. fields.
Aphids under attack. A. certus, A. glycinis and other stingless wasps called parasitoids kill soybean aphids by laying eggs inside them. The larvae hatch and eat the aphids’ internal organs. Predators like lady bugs attack and devour the aphids.A. certus can build numbers while feeding on wheat aphids before the soybean aphids arrive in a field. They also are more active in hot weather than soybean aphids.
Wasp free ride. Soybean aphids are strong flyers. Aphelinus certus is not. This has led to speculation that aphids inadvertently carry the certus eggs or larvae to new areas.
You might also like: