Behold the indomitable Anagyrus vladimiri (formerly known as A. pseudococci), a force to be reckoned with in the relentless battle against mealybugs. This fierce parasitic wasp is single-minded in its pursuit, dedicating its entire existence to seeking out its minuscule adversaries. Equipped with an antenna that would make NORAD envious, Anagyrus vladimiri possesses an unrivaled ability to detect even the faintest traces of mealybugs, leaving no hiding place unexplored.
Anagyrus vladimiri next to the remains of a mealybug host.
Image Courtesy of Kent Daane
Once Anagyrus vladimiri has located its prey, the fate of the unfortunate mealybug is sealed. The wasp swiftly injects its eggs into the body of its victim, initiating a devastating chain of events. Within a mere one or two days, the eggs hatch, and the ravenous larvae embark on a feast within the mealybug’s internal organs, ultimately bringing about the host’s demise. As the pupae continue to develop within the lifeless body for a few additional days, a dry cadaver remains—a chilling testament and a stark warning to other mealybugs tempted to ravage your valuable crops.
Under ideal temperatures, ranging between a balmy 68°F and 80°F, a single Anagyrus vladimiri wasp can lay a staggering 400 eggs throughout its lifetime. This prolific reproductive capacity ensures the presence of a formidable army of parasitoids, diligently safeguarding your crops throughout the entire season.
To unleash an even greater onslaught against mealybug populations, Anagyrus vladimiri is frequently deployed alongside its strategic partner, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. Together, these formidable allies form a synergistic task force, intensifying their combined skills and transforming the shortened lives of mealybugs into a living nightmare.
NOTE: In the USA, Anagyrus vladimiri is only available in California.
Previously known as Anagyrus pseudococci, researchers discovered that there are actually two distinct but closely related species: A. pseudococci and A. sp. near pseudococci. Consequently, the latter has been reclassified as Anagyrus vladimiri. Interestingly, A. vladimiri is the sole Anagyrus species that is commercially bred on a large scale. Even in natural habitats, A. vladimiri appears to have a wider distribution, including regions where both species coexist such as Sicily,Italy. In fact, A. vladimiri has competitively replaced A. pseudococci, making the latter species exceedingly rare to find in present times.
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What Anagyrus vladimiri prefer to kill:
Anagyrus vladimiri is a parasitoid of multiple species of mealybugs including the vine mealybug (Planococcus ficus), citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri), cotton mealybug (Phenacoccus solenopsis), long-tailed mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus) and obscure mealybug (Pseudococcus viburni).
Some crops Anagyrus vladimiri call home:
Anagyrus vladimiri is an ideal ally for growers in vineyards, citrus orchards, and other crops impacted by mealybug infestations.
Anagyrus vladimiri’s preferred environmental conditions:
57°F to 96°F. According to University of Florida researchers, humidity levels do not seem to have an impact on adult mortality rates.
Can Anagyrus vladimiri be released by drone?
Yes, Anagyrus vladimiri can be released by drone, both at the eggs and larvae stages.
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