We examined the relationship of yellow sticky trap captures of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) biotype B parasitoids to the local population of parasitoids as measured by leaf samples of parasitized whiteflies and mass release of parasitoids. Traps were placed in experimental collard and cowpea field plots in Charleston, SC, and in commercial organic fields of spring cantaloupe and watermelon in the Imperial Valley, CA. The exotic parasitoid Eretmocerus emiratus Zolnerowich and Rose was released in Imperial Valley fields to ensure parasitoid populations would be present. Bemisia adults were trapped in the greatest numbers on the upper surface of horizontally oriented sticky traps in melon fields. In contrast, the lower trap surfaces consistently captured more Eretmocerus than upper surfaces. Female parasitoids were trapped in greater numbers than males, especially on the lower trap surfaces. Progeny of released exotic Eretmocerus greatly outnumbered native E. eremicus Rose and Zolnerowich and Encarsia spp. on traps. Throughout the season, the trend of increasing numbers of Eretmocerus on traps parallelled the increase in numbers of whiteflies. Over the season, 23–84% of all B. tabaci fourth instars were visibly parasitized by Eretmocerus. The numbers of Eretmocerus caught by traps in cantaloupe were similar in trend to numbers on leaf samples in melons, but not with those in watermelon, where whitefly populations were lower. Parasitoid numbers were low in collard and cowpea samples, and no trend was observed in numbers of parasitoids captured on traps and numbers on leaves for these two crops. Overall, there were no significant correlations between sticky trap catches of parasitoids and numbers of parasitized whiteflies on leaf samples in any test fields. Nevertheless, sticky traps placed within crops may be useful for observing trends in whitefly parasitoid populations at a particular site and for detecting parasitoids at specific locations.
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