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Several species of Leafminer pests.
ABOUT DIGLYPHUS ISAEA:
Diglyphus isaea, commonly known as the "Leafminer Parasitic Wasp," is a valuable biological control agent widely used in agricultural and horticultural systems to combat leafminer infestations. These tiny wasps, measuring approximately 2 to 3 mm (0.08 to 0.12 inches) in length, are metallic green and black. Females are larger than males, and are known for rapid development and reproductive capabilities. Under optimal conditions, the wasp can complete its life cycle in as little as 14 days, allowing for multiple generations within a growing season.
Diglyphus isaea has a 50/50 sex ratio. The females actively seek out and sting leafminer larvae in their second and third instar, laying an egg inside the mine. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the leafminer and eventually pupate within the leaf mine. Locating Diglyphus larvae can be challenging, but identifying the black and green pupae becomes easier by inspecting leaves with a light source behind them.
Diglyphus isaea is highly effective in controlling leafminer pests through host feeding. Since leafminer pests have a rapid development cycle, with only three instars and quick growth, Diglyphus can significantly reduce their population. In greenhouse conditions, there may be as little as one day between each instar development.
It is best to release the diglyphus when the first 2nd instar leafminer larvae are found.
LIGHT INFESTATION: 1 wasp per 10 sq. ft., weekly, 3-4 weeks.
HEAVY INFESTATION: 5+ wasps per 10 sq.ft., weekly, 3-4 weeks.
It's important to note that these release rates serve as general guidelines and may vary based on the specific pest species, the crop or plant being treated, and level of infestation. Proper monitoring of the infestation and the subsequent effectiveness of the released beneficial insect population is crucial for determining the success of the biological control strategy.
For best results, release immediately. If storage is necessary, do not refrigerate. Store in a cool dark place for no longer than 24 hours.
To achieve a comprehensive approach in controlling Leafminers, it is recommended to combine the use of Diglyphus isaea with other beneficial predators such as Predatory Mites and the Rove Beetle.
Adult lifespan can vary depending on conditions, but generally ranges from a few weeks to a couple of months. During this phase, the female actively seeks out suitable hosts to lay their eggs. Eggs will hatch in 5-10 days, and the Diglyphus larvae will start feeding on the leafminer larvae. The larvae go though several growth stages, known as instars, during this period. After completing larval development, the Diglyphus larvae pupate within the leaf mines. Pupation typically takes 7-14 days before they emerge as adults.
It's important to note that these time-frames are approximate and can be influenced by factors such as temperature, humidity, and the availability of prey. Monitoring the development and activity of beneficial insect populations, along with environmental conditions, can help determine the progress and effectiveness of their role in pest control efforts.