Improved Integrated Crop Management with Beneficial Insects

Agronomy Research  Insects 
Start Date
End Date
Principal Investigator
Julie Soroka - AAFC (Saskatoon)
MCGA Funding
Total Project Funding
External Funding Partners
Alberta Canola, SaskCanola, Canola Council of Canada, Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Research Objective

  • To determine the extent of the relationships between the diamondback and its parasitoid*, D. insulare 
    • Includes surveying, conducting genetic analysis, and investigating sources of annual diamondback moth re-establishment in Canada
  • Also looked at understanding cues between D. insulare and the diamondback moth for host-seeking and host-acceptance
  • To develop models to predict the responses of both insects to irregular patterns of global climatic change

*a parasitoid is a type of insect which has larvae (generally) that will become a parasite to a host and eventually kill it (therefore, if it is killing a pest, considered a very beneficial insect)

Project Description

The diamondback moth is a major threat to canola, and it has newly been discovered that it has a host-parasitoid interaction with D. insulare. The aim of this study was to look at the host-parasitoid relationship to determine how it is established through cues and re-established annually. Understanding the parasitoid interactions of this pest of canola and how to encourage establishment of these parasitoids could lead to a decrease of the diamondback moth problem, and thus help canola production. The study showed that parasitism of diamondback moth larvae and pupae can be high early in the season. The key result was that canola producers are encouraged to carefully monitor populations of the diamondback moth, waiting a few days after nominal thresholds are reached to provide beneficial insects an opportunity to control larvae and to determine whether insecticide applications are necessary.

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