Parasitoid Flies Are Attracted to the Sounds of Their Cicada Hosts

Flies in the genus Emblemasoma.

By Ed Ricciuti Scientists have pondered why males of certain parasitoid fly species have ears that apparently function well enough but, as the Bible says, seemingly “do not hear,” while females with exactly the same auditory apparatus sonically locate cicadas, grasshoppers, crickets, and other hosts for their larvae. However, according to research published in the […]

USDA to Release Russian Wasps Against the Emerald Ash Borer


With the emerald ash borer beetle devastating ash tree populations throughout the United States, solutions to help fight the insect are critical. Thanks in part to research from the University of Delaware and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, a host-specific parasitoid wasp from Russia — Spathius galinae — has been approved for release to help […]

Biological Control in Brazil is Used on an Area that is Larger than Belgium


By Alexandre Diniz, José Roberto Postali Parra, and Aloisio Coelho Jr. Some biological control programs involve large-scale rearing of millions insect predators that are released near agricultural crops. In Brazil, researchers have implemented of a number of successful biological control programs. Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sugarcane, which has one of the oldest […]

A New Wasp Parasitoid of the Fall Webworm


Researchers in China have discovered a new wasp species that may possibly be used to control fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea), an invasive pest that causes severe damage to forest and ornamental trees in Europe, Asia, and North America. The wasp is described in an article in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. Trichospilus […]

New Parasitoid Wasp Species Named after Lowell “Skip” Nault


Scientists from Mexico and California have discovered a new parasitoid wasp species in Jalisco, Mexico. The new species is an egg parasitoid of the fivespotted gamagrass leafhopper (Dalbulus quinquenotatus), an important insect, economically speaking, that transmits plant diseases such as corn stunt spiroplasma, maize bushy stunt phytoplasma, maize rayado fino vrus, and maize bushy stunt […]

Plant Compounds that Smell like Cut Grass Attract Parasitic Wasps for Protection


The smell of cut grass in recent years has been identified as the plant’s way of signalling distress, but the aroma also summons beneficial insects to the rescue. “When there is need for protection, the plant signals the environment via the emission of volatile organic compounds, which are recognized as a feeding queue for parasitic […]

New Parasitoid Wasp Species Found in China May Help Save Pine Trees


A new wasp species discovered in China may be used in the future to help control a beetle that is damaging pine trees. The new wasp, Callimomoides monochaphagae Yang, is described in an article in Annals of the Entomological Society of America. C. monochaphagae is a solitary wasp that parasitizes eggs of the pine sawyer […]

Wasps Used to Combat Citrus Greening Disease are Unlikely to Threaten Non-target Insects


In August 2008 the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri), an invasive insect known to spread citrus greening disease (huanglongbing), which can be lethal to citrus trees, was detected in southern California. After initial treatments with insecticides were determined to be costly and unsustainable, a decision was made to instead try biological control by using insect […]

Chinese Wasps are Taking on the Emerald Ash Borer


The emerald ash borer (EAB), a relatively new invasive insect pest, has killed tens of millions of ash trees throughout the eastern United States since it was first detected in 2002 in Michigan and Canada. This insect has the potential to kill an estimated seven billion ash trees in urban and rural forests and could […]