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Aphytis melinus, also called golden Chalcid, is a small yellow parasitic wasp, measuring 1.2 mm. Aphytis feeds on immature armoured scales (scale insects), but lays its eggs under virgin females.
To reproduce, the female Aphytis lays an egg under a virgin female scale. The larva develops by feeding on the pest (ectoparasite) and inevitably killing it at the end of its growth stage. It then transforms into a pupa inside the body. When it is ready to emerge, the young adult chews a small exit hole in the empty shell.
This minuscule wasp is very effective at controlling mild armoured scale infestations (Diaspididae). It has been successfully used against red scales (Aonidiella aurantii), yellow scales (Aonidiella citrina), San Jose scales (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus), apple mussel scales (Lepidosaphes ulmi) and false oleander scales (Pseudaulacaspis cokerelli).
|Curative light||1 to 3||per m2||month||as needed|
|Curative heavy||10||per m2||bi-weekly||as needed|
Biological control as a scientific endeavor began more than 130 years ago (beginning in the 1880s).
Source : Encyclopedia of Insects (Vincent H. Resh et Ring T. Cardé, 2003)