Diglyphus isaea is an Eulophid wasp that can be found anywhere in the Mediterranean Basin associated with Liriomyza spp. Among the natural enemies commercially available, this tiny wasp is regarded as one of the most efficient and easy to apply in several crops, especially tomato, eggplant, ornamentals and also in open field (i.e. lettuce and celery).
The adult is 1.5-2 mm long with a black elongated body and short antennae. Establishment within a crop is very rapid and is remarkable the ability to survive in difficult circumstances. Before laying eggs beside the larval host body, the female stings it inducing paralysis. The adult will emerge through a round hole cut in the leaf tissues. Egg to adult development is sharply influenced by temperature and could be very quick (10 days at 25ºC). Longevity is very high comparing to other parasitoids. A female can lay 60 to 100 eggs depending on different conditions. Not only parasitization but also host feeding causes significant mortality in leaf miner population. This combined with a high searching capability makes also very early (‘preventive’) introductions successful. Even if high population of the parasitoid could rapidly overcome heavy pest outbreaks, starting early with multiple releases and small quantities (up to a total rate of 0.5 to 2/m2) is generally the best method of application in any crop.