Tiny wasp's star role
The New Zealand Herald recently featured a great story on scientists at Plant & Food Research studying parasitoid wasps to determine whether they can save growers millions of dollars a year by biologically controlling insect pests. KVH has a key role in this project alongside other industry sector bodies, who would be impacted should Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) arrive on our shores.
The project includes research to determine how the parasitoid Samurai Wasp could be used to kill BMSB before they hatch, should they establish in New Zealand. You may recall KVH was heavily involved in successfully applying to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for allowance to release of the wasp in the event of an incursion.
Another parasitoid wasp, Mastrus rudens, is already being used for the control of the Codling Moth on apples in New Zealand. You can see a video of how it all works and the parasitoid laying eggs on larvae here. This wasp is in the same order as the Samurai Wasp, but a different family.
Image: The Samurai Wasp, pictured on BMSB eggs, is harmless to humans and the size of a poppy seed.