Synthetic female sex pheromone was used to monitor the phenology of male Ascogaster quadridentata Wesmael, an egg-larval parasitoid of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), in conjunction with pheromone trapping of the moth and the banding of trees to determine larval parasitism. Catch of this parasitoid was typically ≈10 times less than the moth catch, and larval parasitism varied from 7 to 12%. The emergence of the parasitoid occurred slightly later than the female moth emergence, by both outdoor emergence cages and pheromone trapping. The seasonal activity of male parasitoids was otherwise synchronous with male codling moth flight. A survey of orchards in four regions of New Zealand showed considerable regional variation in the capture of the parasitoid in pheromone traps. The potential value of the parasitoid may be limited by the nil tolerance of the pest in export fruit, but pheromone trapping of this parasitoid could improve the understanding of biological control in non-export situations, where the economic threshold is higher. Pheromone trapping for insect biological control agents is a valuable tool that can help to determine and improve parasitoid success.
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