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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344968

Research Project: Exotic Whitefly Pests of Vegetables and Ornamental Plants

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Eucalyptus gall wasp, Leptocybe invasa Fisher & La Salle (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), an emerging pest of eucalyptus in Florida

Author
item Ahmed, Mahammad - Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
item Hernandez, Yisell - Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
item Skelley, Paul - Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
item Rohrig, Eric - Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
item Mckenzie, Cindy
item Osborne, Lance - University Of Florida
item Mannion, Caatharine - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Plant Industry Bulletin
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2017
Publication Date: 12/31/2017
Citation: Ahmed, M.Z., Hernandez, Y.V., Skelley, P., Rohrig, E., McKenzie, C.L., Osborne, L., Mannion, C. 2017. Eucalyptus gall wasp, Leptocybe invase Fisher & La Salle (Insecta: Hymenoptera:Eulophidae), an emerging pest of eucalyptus in Florida. Florida Department and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, FDACS-P-01783(436), December 2017.

Interpretive Summary: Blue-gum chalcid is a pest of eucalyptis globally distributed in 38 countries and is comprised of two cryptic species (Western and Chinese). In Florida, the Western cryptic species was first detected in 2008 and has spread to 11 counties in less than a decade. Female wasps are tiny (approximately 1 mm) and short-lived (6.5 days); however, mean development time from egg to adult is 133 days at room temperature. Blue-gum chalcid produce galls with distinct swellings on leaf petioles, midribs and stems on new foliage of both young new growth and mature trees. Galls are twice the size of wasps and rapidly growing trees can have greater than 50 galls per leaf making this a serious pest of young plantations. This chalcid attacks at least 11 Eucalyptuc species. Management relies on chemical control with few biological controls available.

Technical Abstract: Leptocybe invasa, the blue-gum chalcid, is a serious pest of eucalyptis worldwide. Within the past decade it has been established in at least 38 countries from the Mediterranean basin (France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Malta), Europe (U.K.), Middle East Asia (Israel, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria) sub Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda), north Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco), southern Africa (South Africa, Zimbabwe), east Asia (China), south Asia (India, Sri Lanka) southeast Asia (Laos, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam), Oceania (Australia), South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) and North America (U.S.A.) This small wasp is actually a cryptic species termed Eastern and Chinese. In Florida, the Western cryptic species was first detected in 2008 and has spread to 11 counties in less than a decade. Female wasps are tiny (approximately 1 mm), brown with a blue to green metallic sheen and short-lived (6.5 days); however, mean development time from egg to adult is 133 days at room temperature. Mean length of a gall containing a single wasp is 2.1 mm, and leaves of rapidly growing trees may contain greater than 50 galls per leaf. Leptocybe invasa is a serious pest in young plantations and heavy galling prevents further development and causes leaf curling and stunted growth. Management relies on chemical control.