Author Topic: Tiny Wasp Carries Heavy Burden  (Read 1534 times)

Millet

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Tiny Wasp Carries Heavy Burden
« on: March 17, 2015, 12:34:31 PM »
Every week for the past year, researchers in Riverside, Calif., have overnighted an insulated box of glass vials, filled with honey and hundreds of tiny wasps the size of a grain of sand, to a facility in Yuma. There, the wasps are released by the thousands to do what evolution has perfected them to do kill the Asian citrus psyllid. The wasps may be small, but their impact could be huge researchers and farmers hope the wasp can halt the spread of the greening disease carried by the Asian citrus psyllid.  As federal researchers enter the second half of a two-year experiment, they plan to expand the releases to 16 more locations in Arizona that are infested with the Asian citrus psyllid. We have every intention to make sure that citrus greening disease doesnt take hold in this state, so that we can have viable commercial and residential citrus production in this state for many years to come, said John Caravetta, associate director for the Arizona Department of Agriculture. It is too early to tell if the wasps will take hold in Arizona, but successful wasp colonies could be crucial in helping slow the spread of the insects, said one U.S. Department of Agriculture official who is helping coordinate the research. The wasps lay an egg inside the young Asian citrus psyllid nymph. The egg will hatch, and the young wasp larva will feed on the Asian citrus psyllid nymph eventually killing it.  Out of the dead Asian citrus psyllid a new adult wasp will emerge. The use of wasps could become especially important in residential areas where backyard citrus growers dont actively try and eradicate the Asian citrus psyllid pest.
Millet
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 12:37:59 PM by Millet »

KarenRei

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Re: Tiny Wasp Carries Heavy Burden
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 10:43:21 AM »
Love the concept, but is a few thousand really enough? I'd think that to ensure coverage over a large geographical area they'd need these things by at least the tens of millions, potentially several orders of magnitude more.
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fruitlovers

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Re: Tiny Wasp Carries Heavy Burden
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 06:22:56 PM »
Love the concept, but is a few thousand really enough? I'd think that to ensure coverage over a large geographical area they'd need these things by at least the tens of millions, potentially several orders of magnitude more.

Says released by the thousands. Doesn't mean they aren't rearing millions. Probably don't want to release all in one spot. In one thousand releases of 1000 you have a million.
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sugar land dave

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Re: Tiny Wasp Carries Heavy Burden
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2015, 12:09:58 AM »
That's one experimental approach.  Another would be to take a liter of concentrate, mix it with 200 gallons of water, then spray the field with an organic-based treatment.  Which would be best?  Who's to say?  Fortune favors those who dare ("audentes fortuna iuvat").  May it be so and our trees remain safe from harm.

 

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