Tree-destroying wasp spreads in Hawaii

Oct 10, 2006

A non-native species of wasp that threatens the wiliwili trees found only in Hawaii has spread to Maui's remote south coast, a report said.

"It's terrible," Andy Graham, owner and manager of Nuu Mauka Ranch, told the Maui News. "Nearly every wiliwili tree out there that I looked at that has leaves has got it. The new leaves are just starting to come out now and nearly all them are now looking bumpy and starting to twist."

Art Medeiros, a research biologist, said that the tiny erythrina gall wasp may have been blown into the area by the wind or carried on cars or even on clothing. The wasp lays eggs on leaves and stems, creating tumors that Medeiros called "leprosy on plants."

"The first year, we got to thinking that area was safe, but now we see that nowhere is really safe," Medeiros said.

The wasp attacks the wiliwili and related introduced trees. The wiliwili, like many other Hawaiian plant and animal species, evolved from the few ancestral species that made their way to the Pacific island chain.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Bio-inspired computer model that can design street layouts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Building tailor-made DNA nanotubes step by step

9 minutes ago

Researchers at McGill University have developed a new, low-cost method to build DNA nanotubes block by block - a breakthrough that could help pave the way for scaffolds made from DNA strands to be used in ...

Via laser into the past of the oceans

11 minutes ago

Next to global warming, ocean acidification is currently considered as the second major carbon dioxide problem. With the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere larger quantities of the gas are getting into the ...

Recommended for you

Refined method to convert lignin to nylon precursor

8 minutes ago

A new study from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrates the conversion of lignin-derived compounds to adipic acid, an important industrial dicarboxylic acid produced for its use as ...

New genetic technologies offer hope for white rhino

1 hour ago

With support from the Seaver Institute, geneticists at San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research are taking the initial steps in an effort to use cryopreserved cells to bring back the northern white rhino from the ...

China bans ivory carving imports for one year

6 hours ago

Beijing has imposed a one-year ban on the import of ivory carvings, amid international criticism that rapidly-growing Chinese demand could push wild African elephants to extinction within a generation.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.