Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Scott Kight

Committee Member

Paul Bologna

Committee Member

Lisa Hazard


Parasitoid wasps are a hyper-diverse monophyletic group of Apocrita (Hymenoptera) that typically oviposit inside or on an arthropodal host, whereafter the wasp larvae obtain nutritional resources for development. Although some species are well-studied as agents in biological control, little is known about the biology of the less diverse and less abundant superfamilies; and even less about assemblages of parasitoid wasp taxa within a given habitat. The aim of the present study was twofold: to estimate parasitoid wasp assemblages within two habitats common in central and northern New Jersey, USA, and to develop a protocol to increase the yield and diversity of parasitoid wasps collected through the use of different trap types, across different months, and in different habitats. Specimens of Chalcidoidea and Ichneumonoidea were most frequently collected; with more Chalcidoidea collected than Ichneumonoidea, which was surprising for the latitude of the study location. Meadow habitats yielded more parasitoid wasps than wooded habitats, and yellow pan traps captured more specimens than flight intercept or malaise traps. Potential factors underlying these outcomes may include availability of hosts, competition, developmental time of the parasitoid offspring, temporal dispersal of adults, and gregarious oviposition. A trapping protocol is suggested, in which strategically utilizing yellow pan traps in a meadow habitat during July would give the highest trapping success in terms of count by unit effort.

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