Field persistence of Habrobracon hebetor (Say) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) following augmentative releases against the millet head miner, Heliocheilus albipunctella (de Joannis) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), in the Sahel uri icon

abstract

  • Biological control by augmentative releases of the parasitoid wasp Habrobracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is a promising strategy for controlling the millet head miner (MHM), Heliocheilus albipunctella (de Joannis) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). A current biological control program in the Sahel region involves inoculative releases of the parasitoid each growing season, but this is prohibitively expensive. The present study aimed to quantify residual parasitism of MHM in years after augmentative release. We also investigated the impact of two successive annual releases of H. hebetor on MHM parasitism. Two successive releases did not increase parasitism, but slightly reduced MHM damage in terms of number of mines and their length. Parasitism levels decreased in subsequent years if no additional parasitoids were released. Nevertheless, in the first year after release, parasitism levels in release villages remained significantly higher than in control villages. These findings suggest that augmentative releases could be carried out biennially instead of annually. Possible means of enhancing parasitoid survival between seasons are discussed

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017