Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Alien woodwasp, threat to US pine trees, found in N.Y.

13.05.2005


Despite dozens of interceptions at U.S. ports, a public enemy has infiltrated the nation’s borders. Taken captive in Fulton County, N.Y., and identified by a Cornell University expert, the adult female alien is the only one of its kind ever discovered in the eastern United States.



The discovery of a single specimen of Sirex noctilio Fabricius, an Old World woodwasp, raises red flags across the nation because the invasive insect species has devastated up to 80 percent of pine trees in areas of New Zealand, Australia, South America and South Africa. If established in the United States, it would threaten pines coast-to-coast, particularly in the pine-dense states in the Southeast. One target would be loblolly pines in Georgia.

Finding one bug in a trap is no small matter. Where there’s one, there’s likely to be more, says E. Richard Hoebeke, a Cornell senior extension associate in entomology. "Whenever you find an insect in a trap, it probably is established."


Hoebeke was sifting through thousands of bark beetles caught in routine screening traps set by the New York State Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) program, in search of any of 10 exotic species of bark beetles, when he stumbled across the specimen of S. noctilio. "I recognized it immediately," says Hoebeke, a taxonomic expert who has examined tens of thousands of insects sent to him from agencies and scholars over the past 25 years. "I’m always on the lookout for exotics -- for any species that are not yet established in the United States and known to be potential pests."

He published a report on his discovery in a recent issue of the Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society (50: 24-25, 2005).

Both federal and state regulatory agencies currently are carrying out a large dragnet, setting multiple traps in places they suspect the woodwasp may be doing its destructive work. The effort is widespread because, Hoebeke says, "The potential damage from this exotic woodwasp could be monumental."

Since 1985 U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service inspectors have intercepted seven male S. noctilio at various borders; all had come with tile and marble imports from Spain and Italy. In addition, one female was found in a warehouse in Indiana in 2002. Experts suspect that the female alien that was trapped in Fulton County probably hitchhiked into the area on a wooden crate or in packing material.

The woodwasp, which is native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, where it rarely is a pest, kills pines, and sometimes several other types of conifers, by introducing a toxic mucus and spores of a toxic fungus when the female lays her eggs through the bark and into the sapwood of the tree.

"If S. noctilio is found to be established in New York or elsewhere in the U.S., we could launch a rapid response to contain and control the infestation," says Hoebeke. A biological control method using a parasitic nematode has been remarkably effective in other countries in the southern hemisphere where the woodwasp has been accidentally introduced, he says.

Susan S. Lang | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>