Assessing the non-target impacts of classical biological control agents: is host-testing always necessary?
- 377 Downloads
Release of a biocontrol agent in New Zealand is typically preceded by non-target testing of native or valued species. Nevertheless, if both the target pest and the natural enemy are very different from any native fauna, then there may be no scientific justification for host testing. Gonatocerus ashmeadi (Girault) (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) is being considered as a biocontrol agent for glassy winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), should the pest arrive. An assessment of the potential impact of G. ashmeadi on New Zealand’s Cicadellidae and Membracidae, from published literature data, indicates that none of these insects is at risk, as their eggs will not be recognised by the parasitoid because either their size or location places them outside the parasitoid’s search pattern. Consequently, there is no scientific case for any non-target host-testing to be carried out in containment.
KeywordsGlassy winged sharpshooter Homalodisca vitripennis Gonatocerus ashmeadi Hemiptera Cicadellidae Membracidae Hymenoptera Mymaridae Oviposition ecology Host range testing New Zealand
This paper is based upon a report to New Zealand’s Sustainable Farming Fund. New Zealand Winegrowers and New Zealand Citrus Growers Inc. supported this research, which was finalised with funding from New Zealand’s ‘Science Solutions for Better Border Biosecurity (B3) programme’ http://b3nz.org/. Fig. 1 was provided by David Logan, The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited.
- Berndt LA, Withers TM, Mansfield S, Hoare RJB (2009) Non-target species selection for host range testing of Cotesia urabae. N Z Plant Prot 62:168–173Google Scholar
- Charles JG, Dugdale JS (2011) Non-target species selection for host-range testing of Mastrus ridens. N Z Entomol 34:45–51Google Scholar
- Dietrich CH, McKamey SH (1990) Three new idiocerine leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) from Guyana with notes on ant-mutualism and subsociality. Proc Entomol Soc Wash 92:214–223Google Scholar
- Fletcher MJ (2009) Identification keys and checklists for the leafhoppers, planthoppers and their relatives occurring in Australia and neighbouring areas (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). http://www1.dpi.nsw.gov.au/keys/leafhop/index.html. Accessed 27 Feb 2012
- Grandgirard J, Hoddle MS, Petit JN, Percy DM, Roderick GK, Davies N (2007) Pre-introductory risk assessment studies of Gonatocerus ashmeadi (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) for use as a classical biological control agent against Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. BioControl Sci Techn 17:809–822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grandgirard J, Hoddle MS, Petit JN, Roderick GK, Davies N (2008) Engineering an invasion: classical biological control of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis, by the egg parasitoid Gonatocerus ashmeadi in Tahiti and Moorea, French Polynesia. Biol Invasions 10:135–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Knight WJ (1974) Leafhoppers of New Zealand: subfamilies Aphrodinae, Jassinae, Xestocephalinae, Idiocerinae, and Macropsinae (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) N Z. J Zool 1:475–493Google Scholar
- Kuhlmann U, Schaffner U, Mason PG (2006) Selection of non-target species for host specificity testing. In: Bigler F, Babendreier D, Kuhlmann U (eds) Environmental impact of invertebrates for biological control of arthropods: methods and risk assessment. CABI Publishing, UK, pp 15–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Larivière M-C, Fletcher MJ, Larochelle A (2010) Auchenorrhyncha (Insecta: Hemiptera): catalogue. Fauna of New Zealand, vol 63. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln, New Zealand, p 232Google Scholar
- Noyes JS (2011) Universal Chalcidoidea Database. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids. Accessed 27 Feb 2012
- Noyes JS, Valentine EW (1989) Mymaridae (Insecta:Hymenoptera): introduction and review of genera. Fauna of New Zealand, vol 17. DSIR Publishing, Wellington, New Zealand, p 95Google Scholar
- Petit JN, Hoddle MS, Grandgirard J, Roderick GK, Davies N (2008) Short-distance dispersal behaviour and establishment of the parasitoid Gonatocerus ashmeadi (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) in Tahiti: implications for its use as a biological control agent against Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Biol Control 45:344–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Turner WF, Pollard HN (1959) Life-histories and behavior of five insect vectors of phony peach disease. U S Dep Agric Technic Bull, USA 1188:1–32Google Scholar
- van Driesche RG, Reardon R (2004) Assessing host ranges for parasitoids and predators used for classical biological control: a guide to best practice. Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, USDA, Morgantown, USA Google Scholar
- van Lenteren JC, Cock MJW, Hoffmeister TS, Sands DPA (2006) Host specificity in arthropod biological control, methods for testing and interpretation of the data. In: Bigler F, Babendreier D, Kuhlmann U (eds) Environmental impact of invertebrates for biological control of arthropods. Methods and risk assessment. CABI Publishing, UK, pp 38–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar