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A Pocket Guide Common Natural Enemies - page 4 / 4





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Thread-waisted Wasps

(Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) Identification

Stout-bodied to slender, often with a very narrow waist and wide head.

Observation tips

Active near open sandy areas and flowers.

1 4 2 "

Trypoxylon sp.

Predacious activity

Many species specialize on various insect prey species. Females capture prey and bring back to larvae in nests.

Sceliphron caementarium

Other insects confused with thread- waisted wasps


Vespid wasps


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Vespid Wasps (Yellowjackets,


(Hymenoptera: Vespidae)


Medium to large, black with yellow or white markings; wings smoky and folded longitudinally.

Dolichovespula maculata

1 2 1 1 Vespula pensylvanica 2 "

Bald-faced Hornet

Predacious activity

Western yellowjacket

Adults bring masticated insects, meat, and nectar of many types back to larvae in large nests.

Other insects confused with vespid wasps


Thread-waisted wasps


Larger Parasitoid Wasps

(Hymenoptera: e.g., Ichneumonidae, Braconidae)


Braconids are < ½", Ichneumonids are usually larger with a longer abdomen.

Parasitic activity

Ischnus inquisitorius

Ichneumonid wasps

Kill hosts by parasitism or by piercing and feeding; hosts include insect larvae, pupae, and aphids.

Braconid wasps

Apanteles aristoteliae

Observation tips

Adults found at flowers or looking for hosts; monitor by looking for parasitized hosts (p. 23).

Macrocentrus iridescens


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Smaller Parasitoid Wasps

(Hymenoptera: e.g., Chalcididae, Eulophidae, Encyrtidae, Trichogrammatidae, Aphelinidae, Pteromalidae)

Identification Mostly <1/ 8"

Parasitic activity

Kill hosts by parasitism; hosts include insect eggs, larvae, and pupae.

Chalcid wasp Chrysocharis sp.

Observation tips

Monitor by looking for parasitized hosts (p. 23).

Eulophid wasp

Aphelinus perpallidus

Microgaster sp.

Encrytid wasp

Pteromalid wasp


Parasitized and Diseased Insect Pests

Identification and observation tips

Aphid “mummies”

Parasitoid larvae and pupae are difficult to identify. One of the best identification methods is to collect hosts that look unusual and hold in a container until the parasitoid develops into an

adult. pupae

parasitoid larvae on hosts

Individuals with a viral or bacterial infection often are darkened or watery. Individuals with a fungal infection often look fuzzy.


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Any comments or questions regarding the content of this pocket guide are welcomed and can be directed to: Mario Ambrosino Integrated Plant Protection Center 2040 Cordley Hall Corvallis, OR 97331 (541) 737-2638 ambrosim@science.oregonstate.edu

Support for this project provided by:

© 2007 Oregon State University. This publication may be photocopied or reprinted in its entirety for noncommercial purposes. This publication was produced and distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Extension work is a cooperative program of Oregon State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Oregon counties. Oregon State University Extension Service offers educational programs, activities, and materials without discrimination based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. Oregon State University Extension Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Published December 2007. 24

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