The continual rearing of Cotesia flavipes (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in laboratories (for approximately 30 years) may have led to loss of genetic variability due to drift, selection, and crossing among siblings. This in turn may have compromised the biological characteristics of the insect, notably with respect to its activity level, thereby altering its parasitic and dispersal capacities. This study investigated methods that allowed the testing of parasitism and number of release points per hectare for C. flavipes. We tested the efficiency of different colored Moericke traps, yellow Moericke traps containing different concentrations of frass, stick yellow traps arranged at different heights and others containing sugarcane stems, with each stem containing a larva of the sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (Fabricius). Only the use of stems was efficient for measuring cover, aggregation, and geostatistics of its parasitism. The samples showed an aggregated distribution, and the maximum dispersal distance of C. flavipes was 25 m. Geostatistical analyses enabled the evaluation and mapping of the number of parasitized larvae. This method permits tests aimed at evaluating quality control during the biological control of D. saccharalis with C. flavipes.
Key words: Biological control, parasitoid, Hymenoptera, Braconidae, massive release, geostatistic analyses.
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