The Orchardist

Scientists share latest research on three nasty pests present in America

- By Anna Rathé, Hort NZ

New Zealand is fortunate to be free of many of the devastatin­g plant pests that other countries are currently grappling with.

However, we know that we cannot be complacent, and recognise that it is essential to have good linkages with the internatio­nal science community.this allows us to learn from their experience­s and increase New Zealand’s readiness for pests that pose a significan­t threat to horticultu­re.

New Zealand recently hosted two well-known entomologi­sts from the United States who shared their knowledge about Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorph­a halys), Spotted Wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) and Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula). These three pests have invaded the United States in recent years, quickly reached high population numbers and currently cause significan­t headaches for growers.

Dr Kim Hoelmer is the Research Leader at the US Department of Agricultur­e’s Beneficial Insects Introducti­on Research Unit in Newark, Delaware. Kim is a research entomologi­st and a specialist in biological control. Kim gave an overview of the current status of the invasive pests Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Spotted Wing Drosophila and Spotted Lanternfly in the United States. He also talked about anticipate­d role of biological control, an area of promise in an otherwise gloomy story.

Dr Elijah Talamas from the Florida Department of Agricultur­e and Consumer Services, division of Plant Industry,is a specialist on the systematic­s of parasitoid wasps. Elijah discussed the role that parasitoid taxonomy has played in the efforts to control two invasive stink bugs: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and Bagrada Bug (Bagrada hilaris), including the identifica­tion of adventive population­s and emerging methods in molecular diagnostic­s.

New Zealand parties will continue to learn from Kim, Elijah and other offshore scientists to ensure our readiness efforts are informed by the knowledge of experts – those who study our high risk pests and know them well.

“New Zealand parties will continue to learn from Kim, Elijah and other offshore scientists to ensure our readiness efforts are informed by the knowledge of experts.”

 ??  ?? Dr Elijah Talamas
Dr Elijah Talamas
 ??  ?? Dr Kim Hoelmer
Dr Kim Hoelmer

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