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Invasive Wasps Released to Battle Invasive Beetles

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avatar Invasive Wasps Released to Battle Invasive Beetles
June 08, 2011 09:30PM
To the untrained eye, all may appear tranquil and calm in Wisconsin's forests, but the truth is that a war of sorts is underway -- between two foreign species on U.S. soil. For the last several years, a particularly nasty invasive beetle has been ravaging ash trees, and in the latest bid to combat the destructive pests, entomologists have enlisted the beetle-killing prowess of other non-native insects -- tiny parasitic wasps recruited from China. Experts are hoping the wasps will fight the good fight to save the ash trees without causing any problems of their own.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/invasive-wasps-released-to-battle-invasive-beetles.php
avatar Re: Invasive Wasps Released to Battle Invasive Beetles
June 08, 2011 10:02PM
Intentional introduction of non-native species is worrisome. It's been done in the past with devastating results, so hopefully this time around they did their homework.
avatar Re: Invasive Wasps Released to Battle Invasive Beetles
June 11, 2011 03:37PM
It's ok. If the wasps become a problem, they'll release wasp-eating spiders. And if they become a problem, then spider-eating birds. Then cats. Then dogs. Then... I can't remember what comes after dogs. Is it a horse?
avatar Re: Invasive Wasps Released to Battle Invasive Beetles
June 11, 2011 03:40PM
Quote
itchbay
It's ok. If the wasps become a problem, they'll release wasp-eating spiders. And if they become a problem, then spider-eating birds. Then cats. Then dogs. Then... I can't remember what comes after dogs. Is it a horse?


avatar Re: Invasive Wasps Released to Battle Invasive Beetles
June 09, 2011 12:11PM
Quote
eeek
To the untrained eye, all may appear tranquil and calm in Wisconsin's forests, but the truth is that a war of sorts is underway -- between two foreign species on U.S. soil. For the last several years, a particularly nasty invasive beetle has been ravaging ash trees, and in the latest bid to combat the destructive pests, entomologists have enlisted the beetle-killing prowess of other non-native insects -- tiny parasitic wasps recruited from China. Experts are hoping the wasps will fight the good fight to save the ash trees without causing any problems of their own.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/invasive-wasps-released-to-battle-invasive-beetles.php

Homework consists of, "let's try this and see what happens".
avatar Re: Invasive Wasps Released to Battle Invasive Beetles
June 11, 2011 07:36PM
I've worked on two parasitic wasp projects. One, Encarsia formosa, was released in an attempt to get rid of an Ash white fly problem in the SF Bay Area. It worked and the wasp died out. It was host specific.

Another, I forgot the name, parasitized yellow star thistle. It could not keep up with the spread and the program was cut back and they concentrated on releasing Urophora sirunasova, a gallfly, and Bangastemus orientalis, a weevil. Both are also host specific.

These parasites are almost always host specific. What I found fascinating is that there are parasites that are specific to other parasites - a hyperparasite.
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