Details of this species in California
Invasiveness: Not specified
Source: USDA, 2005
Species Notes for this Location:
Management Notes for this Location:
Parasitic wasps (Gonatocerus spp.) could help growers ward off the glassy-winged sharp shooter (Homalodisca vitripennis) that have been spreading plant-damaging Xylella fastidiosa bacteria in southern California vineyards since the 1990s. Now sharp shooters have made it to Hawaii and
Tahiti. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Weslaco, Texas, have shown that the invasive pest in California is
from Texas--part of the pest's native habitat.
For over a decade, ARS scientists and researchers at the University of California-Riverside and the California Department of Food and Agriculture have been seeking biocontrol strategies to control the sharp shooter. At the ARS South American Biological Control Laboratory (SABCL) in Hurlingham, Argentina, researchers have been evaluating wasps that lay their eggs inside the glassy-winged sharp shooters eggs, which are later consumed by the wasp young as they hatch and feed. The primary candidate for this form of biological control is currently Gonatocerus tuberculifemur from South America. G. tuberculifemur is being tested at both the SABCL and the Beneficial Insects Research Unit in Weslaco, but the wasp has not yet been released. Researchers in Weslaco are also searching for nymphal parasitoids in their native range in Texas. To date, all the biological control Gonatocerus species agents are egg parasitoids.
Economic/Livelihoods: Glassy winged sharpshooters (GWSS) have been spreading plant-damaging Xylella fastidiosa
bacteria in southern California vineyards since the 1990s. X. fastidiosa causes a
variety of costly plant diseases, including Pierce's disease in grapevines and leaf scorch in
oleanders. Grape growers in Riverside and San Diego counties have lost about $38 million due to
Last Modified: 11/01/2006 10:43:18 a.m.