Can indigenous insects be used against the light brown apple moth?

Feb 09, 2012

The light brown apple moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana (Walker), an invasive insect from Australia, was found in California in 2006. The LBAM feeds on apples, pears, stonefruits, citrus, grapes, berries and many other plants. A native of Australia, it has been found in California since 2007. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has spent more than $70 million in CDFA and USDA funds to eradicate the LBAM, and estimates that failure to eradicate it could cost California growers over $133 million per year.

In "Light Brown Apple Moth in California: A Diversity of Host Plants and Indigenous Parasitoids," a new study published in Environmental Entomology, the authors surveyed plants that were especially susceptible to LBAM infestations in order to find suitable insect parasitoids to be used as to control the LBAM.

Twelve primary parasitoid species and two hyperparasitoids were then reared. The most common were the egg parasitoid Trichogramma fasciatum (Perkins), the larval parasitoids Meteorus ictericus Nees, and Enytus eureka (Ashmead), and the pupal parasitoid Pediobius ni Peck. Meteorus ictericus accounted for more than 80% of the larval parasitoids, and was recovered from larvae collected on 39 plant species. Across all samples, mean was 84.4% for eggs, 43.6% for larvae, and 57.5% for pupae.

The results show that resident parasitoids may already be contributing to the suppression of LBAM populations in California, at least on the host plant species monitored in the surveys. Further work may show whether adequate suppression of LBAM can be achieved by resident parasitoids present in the of California or whether introductions of specialized parasitoid species from Australia would aid in the future management of this new invader.

As the LBAM expands its range in California, the authors suggest that additional parasitoid species will be found using this pest as a novel host and that further studies will better elucidate the levels of pest suppression and help to determine the need for classical biological controls, as well as targeting those natural enemies that might best fit into the parasitoid assemblage already present in California.

Explore further: A European bear's point of view, finally on film

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tiny UK parasitoid wasp discovered

Oct 20, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new species of parasitoid wasp that feeds on a common whitefly pest has been discovered in the UK by a Natural History Museum scientist.

Recommended for you

Sharks contain more pollutants than polar bears

18 hours ago

The polar bear is known for having alarmingly high concentrations of PCB and other pollutants. But researchers have discovered that Greenland sharks store even more of these contaminants in their bodies.

Moth study suggests hidden climate change impacts

Apr 15, 2014

A 32-year study of subarctic forest moths in Finnish Lapland suggests that scientists may be underestimating the impacts of climate change on animals and plants because much of the harm is hidden from view.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...