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Imported parasitic wasp helps control red gum lerp psyllid

  • Author(s): Dahlsten, Donald L.
  • Daane, Kent M.
  • Paine, Timothy D.
  • Sime, Karen R.
  • Lawson, Andrew B.
  • Rowney, David L.
  • Roltsch, William J.
  • Andrews Jr., John W.
  • Kabashima, John N.
  • Shaw, David A.
  • Robb, Karen L.
  • Geisel, Pamela M.
  • Chaney, William E.
  • Ingels, Chuck A.
  • Varela, Lucia G.
  • Bianchi, Mary L.
  • Taylor, Gary
  • et al.
Abstract

The red gum lerp psyllid is an insect native to Australia, where it feeds upon eucalyptus species. Since 1998 this psyllid has spread throughout California, resulting in millions of dollars in damage and control costs. To help suppress the red gum lerp psyllid, a biological control program was initiated and a psyllid-specific parasitic wasp was imported from Australia in 1999 and released in 2000. In most coastal regions this biological control agent has provided substantial control, but in some interior regions the psyllid still remains a problem. Researchers are continuing their investigations to determine if full statewide suppression will be realized eventually, or if further importation of new parasitoid species is needed.

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