Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Olive Groves May Be Rescued By Helpful Wasp

Date:
March 7, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Olives basking in sunny California groves might find that their new best friend is a small brown wasp. Known to scientists as Psyttalia cf. concolor, the little wasp can help foil the olive fruit fly, a powerful natural enemy of olives.

A beneficial wasp, Psyttalia cf. concolor, is helping battle the olive fruit fly in California.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

Olives basking in sunny California groves might find that their new best friend is a small brown wasp. Known to scientists as Psyttalia cf. concolor, the little wasp can help foil the olive fruit fly, a powerful natural enemy of olives.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist Victoria Y. Yokoyama and colleagues have imported and studied the beneficial wasp, and have turned it loose—by the thousands—in olive-fruit-fly-infested groves in California, the nation's No. 1 producer of this popular fruit.

Now, the scientists are continuing to carefully evaluate the wasp's effectiveness in thwarting the olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae.

First detected in California in 1998, olive fruit flies can now be found in every part of California where olives are grown, according to Yokoyama. She's based at the agency's San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center near Parlier, Calif.

The olive fruit fly's young, which are slender, whitish maggots, ruin both the olive and its premium oil by feeding voraciously on the fruit as it ripens. But these destructive maggots are vulnerable to attack by the P. cf. concolor wasp. The attack begins when the wasp lays its eggs inside the maggots. When those eggs hatch, the wasp young kill the olive fly maggots by feeding on them from the inside out.

The wasp is harmless to people, pets and plants. It appears to be more effective in attacking olive fruit fly than some of the fly's other natural enemies, called parasitoids, which were brought to California in the early 2000s.

Yokoyama's ongoing studies, funded by ARS, the Fresno-based California Olive Committee, and other agencies, continue to reveal new details not only about the friendly wasp, but also about the olive fly itself.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Olive Groves May Be Rescued By Helpful Wasp." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090220182740.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, March 7). Olive Groves May Be Rescued By Helpful Wasp. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090220182740.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Olive Groves May Be Rescued By Helpful Wasp." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090220182740.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins