Trissolcus basalis

Physical characteristics: The body is black with elbow-shaped antennae that point downward and a flattened abdomen. They measure 0.04 to 0.05 inches (1 to 1.3 millimeters) in length. The wing veins are reduced in size and number.

Geographic range: This species is found in parts of the southeastern United States, the West Indies, Venezuela, Brazil, Australia, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Portugal, France, and Italy.

Habitat: These insects are found in many kinds of crops, including cotton, grains, soybeans, beans, peas, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, sweet corn, sunflowers, nuts, melons, and other fruits.

Diet: The adults drink nectar, but the larvae are internal parasitoids in the eggs of stink bugs.

Trissolcus basalis are found in many kinds of crops, including cotton, grains, soybeans, beans, peas, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, sweet corn, sunflowers, nuts, melons, and other fruits. (Illustration by Barbara Duperron. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: The larvae are parasitoids that feed individually within the eggs of stink bugs. They grow and pupate inside the eggs.

Adults mate immediately after they emerge from the pupa. Females use their ovipositor to insert a single egg in the egg of a stink bug. The larva molts three times before pupating inside the host egg.

Trissolcus basalis and people: This species has been introduced into many different countries to control the southern green stink bug, an important pest of cotton, beans, vegetables, and citrus.

Conservation status: Trissolcus basalis is not considered endangered or threatened. ■

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