Submitted to: Entomological News
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 11, 2005
Publication Date: May 7, 2005
Citation: Gates, M.W., Schauff, M.E. 2005. Oncastichus goughi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), an introduced pest of waxflower (Myrtaceae; Chamelaucium uncinatum) newly reported from Peru. Entomological News. 116(2):115-116
Interpretive Summary: Galls are abnormal growths formed by insects on plants that can cause plant deformity and heavy infestations can reduce overall plant vigor. Galls formed by a parasitic wasp on plants grown for the cut flower industry can negatively impact revenue, as deformed flowers are unsalable. Additionally, deformities detected on cut flowers may increase cost of importation of these products by increasing the chances of inspection and quarantine protocol enforcement. We report on the continuing spread of a gall-forming wasp into South American production areas for the Geraldton waxflower. This information will be used by flower growers worldwide, regulators, nurserymen, and biological control workers.
The pestiferous gall-forming wasp, Oncastichus goughi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), was first reported as an introduction from Australia into California's waxflower (Myrtaceae; Chamelaucium uncinatum) floricultural production in the late 1980s and established by 1991. This wasp is unusual in that it is an invasive, phytophagous pest in a superfamily (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) of parasitoids known more for their parasitism of animal (primarily insects) hosts and utility in biological control of other pestiferous insect taxa. Herein, we report on the spread of this invasive pest to South America (Peru) and indicate that it will likely be reported in the future as waxflower production expands to other nations.