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Title: Mass-rearing of the stem-galling wasp Tetramesa romana, a biological control agent of the invasive weed Arundo donax

item Moran, Patrick
item Goolsby, John
item Racelis, Alexis
item COHEN, ALLEN - North Carolina State University
item CIOMPERLIK, MATTHEW - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item SUMMY, ROD - Texas-Pan American University
item SANDS, DON P - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item KIRK, ALAN - Retired ARS Employee

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2013
Publication Date: 11/1/2013
Citation: Moran, P.J., Goolsby, J., Racelis, A.E., Cohen, A.C., Ciomperlik, M.A., Summy, R.K., Sands, D.A., Kirk, A.A. 2013. Mass-rearing of the stem-galling wasp Tetramesa romana, a biological control agent of the invasive weed Arundo donax. In: Morales-Ramos, J.A., Shapiro-Ilan, D., Rojas, G., editors. Mass-Rearing of Beneficial Organisms. San Diego, CA: Elsevier. p. 163-201.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Mass-rearing is not often used in biological weed control, despite the wealth of biological information available for insects that have been approved for field release, the utility of the inundative release approach using large numbers of insects to maximize establishment and impact, and the critical need for mass-rearing approaches for invasive weeds of non-crop environments that threaten water and other natural resources. Mass-rearing is particularly uncommon for insects that cause abnormal growths or galls in weed tissues. Galling insects are highly host-specific and have high impact potential. We developed a mass-rearing system for the arundo wasp Tetramesa romana (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) which galls shoot tips on arundo, also known as giant reed or carrizo cane (Arundo donax L.), a non-native, invasive giant perennial grass of riparian ecosystems that is causing major environmental and economic damage in the Lower Rio Grande Basin and other arid watersheds in North America. An artificial diet-based rearing system supported limited larval survival but not complete development. A plant-based mass-rearing system amplified the wasp population every 30-40 days for most of the year. The protocol was developed to optimize conditions for production of vigorous arundo shoots, wasp ovposition on shoot tips, gall development, and collection of progeny. The mass-reared wasps have established populations on arundo along 500 km of the Rio Grande. The mass-rearing procedure can be used by others, and the underlying concepts applied to other weed biological control systems to protect native ecosystems and natural resources.