Parasitic Wasp of the
Eucalyptus Longhorned Borer (Phoracantha semipunctata)
Photography by Max E. Badgley
|Avetianella longoi, dead male on eggs of
Max E. Badgley, published with
permission from the Max E. Badgley Estate, with special thanks to
the University of California, Riverside, who kindly supplied this
image from the UCR Chalcidoidea database collection.
Avetianella longoi, a native of Australia, parasitizes the eggs
of the eucalyptus longhorned borer, Phoracantha
semipunctata. The eucalyptus longhorned borer (ELB) is
also a native of Australia, but is now found throughout the
Mediterranean coast, having been introduced there by seafaring traders.
ELB arrived in the United States, in the state of California, sometime prior to 1984. It
now poses a serious threat to eucalyptus trees
throughout the western U.S. Those trees are used as ornamentals,
windbreaks and for pulpwood and firewood. In the absence of natural
enemies, ELB soon killed eucalyptus trees by the thousands.
Entomologists at the University of California/Riverside researched the
natural enemies of ELB in Australia and learned that Avetianella longoi,
a minute, black wasp, is unusually adapted to parasitize ELB eggs.
Clusters of these eggs are deposited under loose shards of shaggy-barked
species of eucalyptus (smooth barked species provide no such haven), where they are not easily reached by other
predatory insects. Adult A. longoi females have a flat profile that lets them negotiate the loose bark,
where they search for, and deposit their eggs into, ELB eggs. A single female wasp, in a month's
time, parasitizes an average of 200 ELB eggs, and as many as 5 wasps
successfully develop in each parasitized ELB egg.
Armed with this information, UCR imported A. longoi to the U.S. in
1992, established a rearing lab for them, and released the first batch of
naturalized A. longoi wasps in 1993. The wasps spread to all
areas infested with ELB, with devastating effect on ELB populations.
All evidence collected to date indicates this parasitoid will succeed in
exercising significant control over ELB in the U.S.
* TERMITE ENCOUNTERS *
SNAKE ENCOUNTERS * SNAKE
BITE FIRST AID *
ENCOUNTERS FOR 2008 *
SPIDER ENCOUNTERS FOR 2007 *
BITE FIRST AID *
PUSS CATERPILLAR ENCOUNTERS *
PUSS CATERPILLAR FIRST AID *
PUSS CATERPILLAR EXTERMINATION
Assembled & Edited by
Jerry Cates . Questions? Corrections? Comments?
---- Ph: 512-331-1111 ----