Effects of two neem insecticide formulations on the attractiveness, acceptability and suitability of diamondback moth larvae to the parasitoid, Diadegma mollipla (Holmgren) (Hym., Ichneumonidae)
Njagi, P. G. N.
Mueke, J. M.
Akol, A. M.
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Behavioural responses of female Diadegma mollipla to volatiles from cabbage plants and host-infested [Plutella xylostella (L.)] cabbage plants sprayed with two neem insecticide formulations were investigated in a Y-tube olfactometer. Parasitoids were significantly more attracted to volatiles from cabbage and host-infested cabbage sprayed with the powder formulation than to clean air. In contrast, parasitoid response to volatiles from cabbage and hostinfested cabbage sprayed with the oil formulation was not significantly different from clean air. In choice tests between infested plants sprayed with water (control) or the powder formulation, parasitoids showed no preference for volatiles from either of the treatments. In similar tests with the oil formulation, parasitoids showed a preference for volatiles from control plants over plants sprayed with the oil formulation. In host acceptance and suitability tests, parasitism rates in the neem- and water-sprayed hosts were, with one exception, not significantly different. However, the neemsprayed larvae died earlier than control larvae and were therefore not able to support parasitoid development. The implication of these findings for the combined use of neem insecticides and parasitoids in the management of P. xylostella is discussed.