Braconid and chalcid parasitic wasps
Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Chalcididae
Brown or black, these wasp species are small and difficult to differentiate from one another, except that chalcids have greatly enlarged hind femora (third leg segment). They have two pairs of membranous wings, segmented antennae, and a very distinct head, thorax and abdomen. Females often have a needle-like ovipositor at the tip of their abdomen. They are harmless to humans.
Note: These wasps are extremely sensitive to most broad-spectrum insecticides.
These parasitic wasps attack many harmful insects such as the apple aphid and woolly apple aphid, larvae of the spotted tentiform leafminer, obliquebanded leafroller and eggs of the codling moth. Females lay eggs in the body of the host and larvae feed on the inside.
Note: The braconid Pholetesor ornigis (Weed) attacks the spotted tentiform leafminer (A). Macrocentrus linearis (Nees) (B) is a parasitoid of the obliquebanded leafroller. Aphids (C) can be the victims of many wasps such as Peristenus digoneutis. (D).
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