Secret Site Map
Saturday, December 20, 2014

Home News Invasive Wasp Discovered in Southern California

Invasive Wasp Discovered in Southern California

National News

Called Gonatocerus ater, the wasp is about 1 millimeter long and arrived in North America from Europe. It lays its eggs inside the eggs of leafhoppers.

| January 24, 2012

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – In August 2010, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside discovered a tiny fairyfly wasp in upstate New York that had never been seen in the United States until then. Nearly exactly a year later, he discovered the wasp in Irvine, Calif., strongly suggesting that the wasp is well established in the country.

Called Gonatocerus ater, the wasp is about 1 millimeter long and arrived in North America from Europe. It lays its eggs inside the eggs of leafhoppers.

Leafhopper females lay their eggs inside plant tissue. Gonatocerus ater females find these eggs and lay their own eggs inside them. When the wasp eggs hatch, the larvae eat the leafhopper eggs.

“This wasp was accidentally introduced in North America,” said Serguei Triapitsyn, the principal museum scientist in the Department of Entomology and the director of the Entomology Research Museum, who made the discovery. “It most likely got here in parasitized eggs of the leafhoppers in twigs of Lombardy poplar seedlings coming from Europe, perhaps long ago.”

Triapitsyn explained that the wasp had been reported in Italy where the leafhopper Rhytidodus decimaquartus was determined to be its host.

“In California, we do not know if the wasp’s host is this leafhopper, but I found it on the same Lombardy poplar trees that had the wasp, so an association is very likely,” he said.

Triapitsyn found the wasp on August 7, 2011, when he was doing field work along a trail. He caught the insects in a net that he had swept over Lombardy poplar leaves. He preserved the sample of insects in ethanol and brought it to his lab at UC Riverside for analysis and identification, which can take long. He got a positive identification of the potential leafhopper host only two weeks ago.

“I identified the wasp as Gonatocerus ater by comparing it to wasps from upstate New York and also Europe,” he said. “It would not surprise me if this wasp is found wherever Lombardy poplars are located because its likely leafhopper host prefers these trees for feeding.”

According to Triapitsyn, the wasp poses no known risk – besides killing leafhopper eggs.

Source: http://newsroom.ucr.edu/2841 

Top news

Alpha Ecological Participates in Downtown Boulder’s Lights of December Parade

The parade featured floats from various local businesses, churches, and civic centers in the Boulder area.

Malden High Schools Collaborate with Yankee Pest Control in Mural Contest

Students from Walden, Mass., area high schools painted murals on the backside of Yankee Pest Control's building for a competition. Yankee generously paid for all of the paint supplies and tarps, and provided pizza and refreshments to all of the students each time they were on site.

El Paso Truly Nolen Acquires Fox Pest Control

Truly Nolen expands its Texas footprint with the acquistion of Fox Pest Control, a well established company.

Florida PCO to Provide Three Free Bed Bug Jobs for Christmas

This Christmas season Keller's Pest Control, Bradenton, Fla., will reward three needy families free bed bug treatments, the Bradenton Herald reported.

FMC Announces New Executive Roles and Newly Elected Vice President

Bethwyn Todd, global director of FMC Professional Solutions, Seed Treatment and BioSolutions, has been named director for Agricultural Solutions in Asia and president of FMC Asia

x