A simple, inexpensive chamber was developed and tested as an evaluative tool to monitor Trichogramma cordubensis dispersal in the laboratory. The chamber consisted of a continuous, winding channel which was cut into an aluminum block. Wasps were released at one end of the channel and allowed to walk in the channel for 21 h and to parasitize Mamestra brassicae eggs placed 3.4 m from the point of wasp introduction. Comparisons between two T. cordubensis populations demonstrated that one population (TCM) dispersed more in the chamber and located host eggs more successfully than the other population (TCD). Subsequent greenhouse releases confirmed that the TCM population dispersed more readily and had significantly higher parasitism rates on sentinel Ephestia kuehniella eggs on tomato plants. The potential utilization of this chamber as a tool to evaluate quality of Trichogramma populations, mainly dispersal activity, is discussed.
- Greenhouse releases