Parasitization of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) by four Indigenous Trichogrammatid Species/Strains in a Mixed Cropping System of Tomato and Okra
Mueke, J. M.
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Aims: Egg parasitoids, Trichogramma are recognised as natural enemies of many lepidoptera pests worldwide. In Kenya, a number of indigenous parasitoids species have been recovered. We evaluated the relative preference (parasitism) by four Trichogrammatid egg parasitoid species/strains, namely, T. sp. nr. mwanzai (L), T. sp. nr. lutea (H), T. sp. nr. mwanzai (M) and T. sp. nr. lutea (M) for the African bollworm Helicoverpa armigera on two of its host plants, tomato and okra usually intercropped in smallholder farms in Kenya. Study Design: Host parasitism on host plants. Methodology: Evaluations of parasitism for H. armigera by Trichogrammatid species/strains on Tomato and Okra in bioassays in both laboratory and field cages, in choice and no-choice conditions were undertaken. Results: In general, species/strains exhibited significant differences in parasitism for the host (F=2.8; df =3, 7; P= 0.05) but neither the host plant nor host plant x species/strain interaction affected parasitism. Chi-square analyses showed no significant preference by species/strains between the two host plants although there was greater tendency by the parasitoids to go for H. armigera on okra than tomato. Conclusion: The results give useful insights in planning for augmentation biological control of H. armigera in mixed farming agroecosystems. The four Trichogrammatids could effectively be used in augmentation programs in the tomato-okra cropping systems.