Date: 22 Sep 2010

Mass Rearing of Egg Parasitoids for Biological Control Programs

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Abstract

Among the egg parasitoids families of Hymenoptera, Trichogrammatidae is by far the most produced in large scale worldwide. Species of Trichogrammatidae are used in more than 30 countries for the biocontrol of over 20 host-pests in crops such as corn, cotton, sugarcane, fruit trees, vegetables, forests, among others. Over 16 million ha receive parasitoid inundative releases, mostly represented by the egg parasitoid Trichogramma. It is very difficult to precisely estimate the correct size of the area in which egg parasitoids are released, as there is a continuous increase in the number of countries in which biofactories are being established for the mass production and release of egg parasitoids, as those in Latin America. This chapter deals with the mass rearing of egg parasitoids, emphasizing the rearing of Trichogramma spp. in Brazil, where the release area of parasitoids is increasing, especially for the control of the sugarcane borer. In this chapter are discussed concepts of mass rearing, background on the use of Trichogramma and rearing techniques for the host and natural enemies, and the constraints in the mass rearing, including the forecasting production.