Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Cotesia species (287)

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  • Worldwide distribution. Common parasitising diamondback moth (DBM) in the hot lowland tropics and sub-tropics. Female lays 200 eggs, one in each young DBM caterpillars.
  • Cotesia larvae eat DBM caterpillar from inside, emerges from the caterpillar and makes a cocoon on the brassica leaf. Look for white, oval pupa. The adult wasp (2-3.5 mm long) hatches after about 7 days and feeds on nectar.
  • Cotesia cannot prevent damage by DBM alone. IPM programs avoid pyrethroids and organophosphates (these kill Cotesia and predators) and recommend use of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis).
  • Monitor and only use Bt when needed; rotate this with other insecticides to prevent resistance to Bt developing.
Common Name


Scientific Name

Cotesia vestalis; previously Cotesia plutellae. The wasp belongs to the family Braconidae.

AUTHORS Mike Furlong and Grahame Jackson 
Information from Furlong MJ, et al. (2013) Diamondback moth ecology and management: problems, progress and prospects. Annual Review of Entomology 58:517-541. Photos 1-3 Mike Furlong, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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