How to Manage Pests
Identification: Natural Enemies Gallery
Scientific name: Trichogramma spp. All members of this family parasitize insect eggs. There are approximately 650 species.
DESCRIPTION Life Cycle
Adults are approximately 1/25 inch (1 mm) or less—the size of a period at the end of a sentence. They often have wing hairs (setae) arranged in rows. Their body is relatively compact and the antennae are short. Trichogramma species are difficult to identify due to their minute size and generally uniform morphological features.
Trichogramma spp. undergo complete metamorphosis. The adult wasp lays an egg within a recently laid host egg, and as the wasp larva develops, it eats the host embryo, causing the egg to turn black. Because their life cycle from egg to adult is about 7 to 10 days, these parasites have many more generations than their hosts, and their populations can increase rapidly.
Trichogramma turns the eggs of some caterpillar species black. This is the best way to detect parasitization by Trichogramma.