Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wasps wage war on behalf of wiliwili trees

Date:
October 4, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A black, 2-millimeter-long wasp from East Africa is helping wage war on one of its own kind -- the Erythrina gall wasp, an invasive species that's decimated Hawaii's endemic wiliwili and introduced coral bean trees.

ARS research has helped Hawaii come up with a beneficial wasp Eurytoma erythrinae from East Africa to control the Erythrina gall wasp, an invasive species that's decimating Hawaii's native wiliwili trees and introduced coral bean trees.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb.

A black, two-millimeter-long wasp from East Africa is helping wage war on one of its own kind -- the Erythrina gall wasp, an invasive species that's decimated Hawaii's endemic wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) and introduced coral bean trees (Erythrina spp.).

Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) officials "recruited" the beneficial wasp, Eurytoma erythrinae, and first released it in November 2008 after evaluating its host specificity as a biocontrol agent. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist Michael Gates' scientific description and naming of the species, together with a collaborator, helped HDOA obtain the necessary federal approvals to make the release.

How the gall wasp arrived in Hawaii in April 2005 is unknown, but it quickly found suitable hosts on which to feed and reproduce, first on Oahu and then other Hawaiian islands, notes Gates. He is with the Systemic Entomology Laboratory operated in Washington, D.C., and Beltsville, Md., by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of USDA. Gates' collaborator, Gιrard Delvare, is with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Montpellier, France.

Hawaii's wiliwili trees and tropical coral bean trees are commonly used for landscaping, soil and water conservation, and as windbreaks. As larvae, gall wasps feed inside the leaves, making them curled and misshapen. Severe infestations can defoliate and eventually kill afflicted trees.

Female E. erythrinae wasps deposit their eggs inside galls where the pest larvae feed. Upon hatching, E. erythrinae larvae eat the gall wasp larvae. They pupate and emerge two weeks later as adults. The parasites don't attack native wasps or other nontarget insects.

The Hawaiians found their "gall wasp gladiator" after dispatching two entomological teams to the pest's native Africa in search of natural enemies, starting in spring 2006. In January 2007, Gates and Delvare were asked to identify the specimens collected based on their taxonomic expertise.

Gall-wasp parasitism has been as high as 70 percent at some release sites, but continued data collection will be necessary to correlate E. erythrinae's rise to declines in tree damage.


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. "Wasps wage war on behalf of wiliwili trees." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928101423.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, October 4). Wasps wage war on behalf of wiliwili trees. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928101423.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Wasps wage war on behalf of wiliwili trees." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928101423.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) — Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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