Submitted to: Entomology Society of America Pacific Branch Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2004
Publication Date: June 23, 2004
Citation: Hoelmer, K.A., Shanower, T.G., Bon, M.C. Recent progress towards classical biological control of the wheat stem sawfly. Entomological Society of America Pacific Branch Annual Meeting, Bozeman, MT. 20-23 June 2004. Technical Abstract: Wheat stem sawfly, Cephus cinctus, is a key pest of wheat in the northern wheat belt of the U.S.A. and Canada. A morphologically similar (and possibly synonymous) species, C. hyalinatus, feeds on wild grasses in northeastern Asia (old records exist from Siberia and northern Japan) but it is not recorded as a pest of wheat in the region. Specimens of C. hyalinatus were recently found in surveys conducted in northern China. A related species, C. fumipennis, is a pest of wheat in northern China, but not in Siberia. The genetic variability of samples of C. cinctus from 48 localities in North America was assessed using PCR amplification of a region within the COI gene. The analysis suggests that several distinct groups of C. cinctus are present in the U.S. Addition of Asian Cephus species to the phylogenetic analysis is in progress. We review the status of foreign exploration for Cephus hyalinatus, C. fumipennis and their natural enemies in Asia. An undescribed species of Collyria (Hym.: Ichneumonidae) is the only parasitoid thus far reared from field collections of overwintering C. fumipennis in China. Progress in evaluating this potential new biological control agent for Cephus cinctus is summarized.