Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Held, Wayne David

Committee Member

Collison, Clarence

Committee Member

Munshaw, Gregg

Committee Member

Layton Jr., M. Blake

Committee Member

Kingery, William

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology


Mole Crickets (Scapteriscus spp.) are the most destructive pests in southern turf and pasture grasses. In response to extensive losses from mole crickets, Florida formed a task force to identify natural enemies in the native range of these pests. Two parasitic insects, Larra bicolor and Ormia depleta, and Steinernema scapterisci, an entomopathogenic nematode, were imported and released. Of the two insects, only Larra bicolor has spread to other states infested with mole crickets in the southeast. The present study documents the seasonal biology of Larra bicolor in the northern Gulf region, ornamental plants that can be used as nectar sources, and the impact of these nectar sources on longevity of the wasp and parasitism of mole crickets. Results of field and laboratory experiments showed that the ornamental Pentas lanceolata attracted wasps in the field and provided comparable or better longevity than Spermacoce verticillata which was the only known nectar source.