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How to Manage Pests

Identification: Natural Enemies Gallery

Bracon cushmani

Scientific name: Bracon cushmani

Life stages of Bracon cushmani

Click on image to enlarge

Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Braconidae

Common host: Grape leaffolder larvae in grapes

Commercially available: No

DESCRIPTION

Bracon cushmani adults are small wasps, less than 1/8 inch long with a slender abdomen longer than the head and thorax combined. B. cushmani undergoes complete metamorphosis and is a gregarious ectoparasite. After stinging and paralyzing leaffolder larvae, female B. cushmani lay from one to several eggs on the body of leaffolder larvae. B. cushmani larvae feed externally and, after completing their development, pupate next to the consumed host. Parasitism by this parasite frequently reduces second and third generation populations to below economic levels.

To detect parasitism, look for leaffolder caterpillars with many small wasp larvae clinging to their backs.

B. cushmani is one of about 100 species in the Bracon genus that occur in the United States.

 


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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