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Keywords:

  • Conservation, biological control;
  • Braconidae;
  • Dolichogenidea tasmanica;
  • Fagopyrum esculentum;
  • floral resources;
  • Glyptapanteles demeter;
  • habitat manipulation

Abstract 1 The provision of floral resources in agricultural ecosystems can potentially enhance biological control of pests by providing nutrients to parasitoids. To test this, the effect of buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum Moench flowers on leafroller parasitoids was investigated in a New Zealand vineyard.

2 Relative abundance of parasitoids was assessed with yellow sticky traps in buckwheat and control plots. Male Dolichogenidea tasmanica (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) were significantly more abundant in the presence of buckwheat. No significant result was found for female D. tasmanica or either sex of Glyptapanteles demeter (Wilkinson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), the other leafroller parasitoid caught.

3 The relative parasitism rate of leafrollers by D. tasmanica was assessed with a leafroller release and recover technique. No difference in parasitism was found between buckwheat and control plots.

4 The sex ratio (% males) of D. tasmanica emerging from recovered leafroller larvae was significantly lower in the presence of buckwheat than in control plots on one of the two release dates. Possible reasons for this increase in female production are discussed.