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DPI study shows biocontrol for pine aphid is taking hold

Pine aphid – a devastating pest that causes more than $20 million in lost wood production to the softwood industry each year – is coming under welcome pressure from a biological control that is taking hold in pine growing regions across NSW. Funded by FWPA, the project (PNC063-0607) commissioned the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) to research and introduce a potential biological control agent, the parasitoid wasp, Diaeretus essigellae. 

Ongoing monitoring by Department of Primary Industries (DPI) scientists is determining how widely established the biological control – a tiny wasp from California released here in 2009 – has become in NSW commercial pine forests.

“To date, established populations of the biological control wasp have been found in the South West Slopes (Tumut/Tumbarumba), Central Tablelands (Bathurst/Orange) and the Northern Tablelands (Walcha),” said DPI Principal Research Scientist Angus Carnegie.

“It’s a very encouraging sign that we have found the biocontrol wasp has spread naturally into new areas since its release.

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Project PNC063-0607

Image credit: Wikimedia

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Posted Date: August 7, 2014

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