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Abstract and Figures

Presence of the Eucalyptus gall wasp Ophelimus maskelli
and its parasitoid Closterocerus chamaeleon in Portugal:
First record, geographic distribution and host preference
Manuela Branco & Conceição Boavida &
Nicolas Durand & José Carlos Franco & Zvi Mendel
Received: 18 December 2007 /Accepted: 6 October 2008 /Published online: 7 January 2009
Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2008
Abstract The Eucalyptus gall wasp Ophelimus
maskelli (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and its par-
asitoid Closterocerus chamaeleon (Hymenoptera:
Eulophidae) were observed for the first time in
Portugal, in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Data on
the distribution of O. maskelli in Portugal, differences
in the susceptibility of two host species, Eucalyptus
globulus and Eucalyptus camaldulensis, and parasitism
by C. chamaeleon are given.
Keywords Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Eucalyptus globulus
Ophelimus maskelli (Ashmead) (Hymeno ptera: Eulo-
phidae) is a gall wasp causing damage on Eucalyptus
species. It induces numerous small pimple-like, nearly
round galls visible on both sides of the leaf (Protasov
et al. 2007b). In Israel its population produces three
generations per year, between spring and the end of
fall, the duration of the entire gall development being
8090 days (Protasov et al. 2007b). In Europe, the wasp
was first recorded, in Italy in 2000, misidentified as O.
eucaly pti (Arzone and Alma 2000; Viggiani and
Nicotina 2001). Later, it was detected in the south of
Spain in 2003 (Sánchez 2003), in the northeast of
Spain in 2004 (Pujade-Villar and Riba-Flinch 2004),
and in the south of France in 2005 (European and
Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization 2006). No
signs of its presence were observed during intensive
surveys carried out in 2003 and 2004 in Portugal in
order to detect Eucalyptus gall wasps (Branco et al.
2006) when the only wasp species found was
Leptocybe invasa Fisher & LaSalle (Hymenoptera:
Eulophidae). Ophelimus maskelli was first detected in
April 2006, near Lisbon, on Eucalyptus camaldulensis
(M. Branco, unpublished data).
Eucalyptus globulus and E. camaldulensis are the
major Eucalyptus species in the Iberian Peninsula;
other species are seldom found. The main Eucalyptus
forests are based on E. globulus. Eucalyptus camal-
dulensis is mostly used in leisure, roadside and urban
areas. Due to the importance of these two Eucalyptus
Phytoparasitica (2009) 37:5154
DOI 10.1007/s12600-008-0010-7
M. Branco
N. Durand
J. C. Franco
Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior
Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa,
Tapada da Ajuda,
1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
C. Boavida
Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos,
Ministério da Agricultura,
Desenvolvimento Rural e Pescas,
Edifício 1, Tapada da Ajuda,
1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
Z. Mendel
Department of Entomology, ARO, The Volcani Center,
Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
M. Branco (*)
Departamento de Engenharia Florestal,
Instituto Superior Agronomia,
Universidade Técnica de Lisboa,
Tapada da Ajuda,
1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
species, a monitoring program was designed to survey
the distribution of O. maskelli in Portugal, and to
confirm the susceptibility of E. globulus and E.
camaldulensis to this wasp, as reported by Protasov
et al. (2007a) in Israel. Unexpectedly, during this
survey, the parasitoid Closterocerus chamaelon Girault
(Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) was found among the
wasps emerging from O. maskelli -infested leaves
collectedinLisbonfromE. camaldulensis.The
parasitoid was identified according to Protasov et al.
(2007a). This species was first collected in Australia
(Mendel et al. 2007;Protasovetal.2007a), and
imported and released in Israel, in 2005 and 2006
(Mendel et al. 2007; Protasov et al. 2007a), and to Italy
in 2006 (Laudonia et al. 2006), for biological control
of O. maskelli.
In this paper, the geographical distribution of O.
maskelli is reported together with the spontaneous
occurrence of C. chamaeleon in Portugal. Information
on differences in host plant susceptibility and prelim-
inary results on parasitoid activity are presented.
In spring 2007, a coun trywide survey of E.
globulus and E. camaldulensis trees was carried out
on 23 locations to detect the presence of O. maskelli.
At each location five to ten trees were inspected by
observing at least five branches on each and the
presence of the typical galls induced by the wasp was
In September 2007, O. maskelli-infested leaves were
collected on two occasions in an E. camaldulensis
coppice, in Lisbon, in order to develop a rearing
procedure in the laboratory. The leaves were chosen
among those having fully developed galls and left in
containers for one month, before counting the emerged
In October/November 2007, samples were collected
from infested trees of both E. globulus and E.
camaldulensis, in two locations, Lisbon and Peninsula
of Setúbal, about 60 km south of Lisbon, to assess
differences in susceptibility between host plant species.
Seven E. camaldulensis and eight E. globulus trees
were randomly sampled from the same stand in each
location. Six 4050-cm-long branches were randomly
collected per sampled tree, using telescopic pruning
scissors, and placed in separate labeled plastic bags.
Each sample was observed in the laboratory to
determine its infestation level using the following
notation: class 0leaves with no O. maskelli galls;
class 1leaves with one to 40 galls/leaf; class
leaves with more than 40 galls/leaf. An ANOVA
was used to test the effects of Eucalyptus species on
the percentage of leaves on each infestation class
applied by General Linear Model procedure (SPSS
version 15 software). Arcsine transformation was used
to stabilize variance. Separate analyses were performed
for each infestation class. Species effects were tested
by simple contrast.
The susceptibility of the two Eucalyptus species to
O. maskelli was evaluated also based on gall size. A
sample of 30 galls per each tree species was collected
from different leaves and their diameter was mea-
sured. Differences between plant species were com-
pared by using a t-test on untransformed data.
Fig. 1 Distribution of Ophelimus maskelli in Portugal in 2007,
based on the presence of typical leaf galls in two Eucalyptus
species: (closed stars) E. camaldulensis with galls; (open stars)
E. camaldulensis with no signs of galls; (closed dots) E.
globulus with galls; (open dots) E. globulus with no signs of
52 Phytoparasitica (2009) 37:5154
The emergences of O. maskelli and its parasitoid
C. chamaeleon were assessed in infested leaf samples
of E. camaldulensis collected in the middle part of the
same branches used to assess the infestation level s of
O. maskelli in the two locations referred to before
(October/November 2007). No samples were collect-
ed from E. globulus because of its very low level of
infestation by O. maskelli. In the laboratory the leaves
were examined and the number of galls without wasp
emergence holes was counted per leaf and considered
as the number of suitable galls available for para-
sitisation by C. chamaeleon close to the sampling
date. Galls with emergence hole were not considered
since it was not possible to know whether it was the
galler or the parasitoid that emerged from them. The
samples were kept in containers in the laboratory, at
room conditions for one month and the emerged
wasps were collected and counted every week.
The survey conducted in Portugal in 2007 show ed
that O. maskelli was present in 12 out of 23 sites,
mainly in two areas, the South, near the border with
Spain, and the Centre, near Lisbon (Fig. 1). During
this field survey, the gall wasp was mainly observed
in E. camaldulensis (Fig. 1). In agreement, the
percentage of infested leaves (classes 1 and 2) in E.
camaldulensis was significantly higher (F
p<0.001 and F
=103.5; p<0.001, respectively)
than in E. globulus (Fig. 2) while the percentage of
leaves with no galls was significantly higher (F
146.6, p<0.001) in E. globulus (about 70%), compared
to E. camaldulensis (about 20%). Gall mean diameter
(±SE) was significantly smaller in E. globulus (0.88±
0.037 mm), and most of these galls showed no wasp
emergence, in comparison with E. camaldulensis
(1.42±0.051 mm; t=8.58; df=58; p<0.001).
Closterocerus chamaeleon was found in Portugal
for the first time in the beginning of September 2007
in leaf samples infested with O. maskelli galls
collected from E. camaldulensis showing 51.5
63.5% of parasitism (Table 1). The mean number of
galls/leaf (±SE) was 155.3±14.9. Later, in October/
November 2007, almost only the parasitoid wasps
emerged from the galls collected in the survey and
both O. maskelli and C. chamaeleon emerged in very
few numbers from the samples (Table 1).
According to the sur vey reported previously
(Branco et al. 2006), O. maskelli invaded Portugal
between 2004 and 2006, probably from the south of
Spain, where it was observed in 2003 (Sánchez 2003).
However, no previous reports exist confirming the
presence of C. chamaeleon in the western Medi terra-
nean Region and Napoli (in Italy), about 2,700 km
from Lisbon, seems to be the nearest area where this
parasitoid had been released (Laudonia et al. 2006).
Closterocerus chamaeleon has several biological
traits that favor population increase and spread to
new zones, such as thelytoky, high fecundity, short
generation time, and in particular the relatively high
Fig. 2 Percentage of galled leaves of Eucalyptus camaldulensis
and Eucalyptus globulus by Ophelimus maskelli according to
three classes of leaf gall density: 0no galls, 1fewer than 40
galls per leaf, 2more than 40 galls per leaf. Bars capped
with the same letter in each class are not significantly
different (P <0.001)
Table 1 Cumulative emergences of Ophelimus maskelli and its parasitoid, Closterocerus chamaeleon, from leaves of Eucalyptus
camaldulensis collected in 2007 in Lisbon and Peninsula of Setubal, Portugal
Date and location Number
of leaves
of galls
O. maskelli C. chamaeleon Percent galls with emergence
of C. chamaeleon
September, Lisbon 10 1,104 398 701 63.5
16 2,588 1,245 1,333 51.5
October, Lisbon 28 4,349 0 1,838 42.3
November, Setubal 40 8,453 55 810 9.6
Phytoparasitica (2009) 37:5154 53
adult longevity coupled with its very small size, which
favors dispersal by wind (Protasov et al. 2007a). In
Israel, the parasitoid spread 120 km in one year
(Mendel et al. 2007; Protasov et al. 2007a). In Turkey,
a population of C. chamaeleon found in January 2007
is thought to have originated from individuals dispersed
from the population released in Israel, approximately
1,500 km away (Doganlar and Mendel 2007). The
greatest dispersal distances traveled by released para-
sitoids have been reported a s 150 km per year
(Godfray 1993). However, spread rates may be much
higher, reaching 100 to 300 km per day, when transport
by prevailing winds occu rs (Farrow 1981). Hence it
might be possible that this parasitoid is established
in southwestern Mediterranean taking advantage of
the high population densities of its host on E.
camaldulensis in the area.
Although E. globulus is a suitable host-plant species
for O. maskelli as indicated by Protasov et al. (2007b),
the present results provide evidence that its suscepti-
bility is much lower compared to E. camaldulensis.
This is to be predicted by differences in gall density
and gall size, which were both significantly lower in E.
globulus. In particular, gall size is an important
predictor of galler survival and therefore of its fitness
(Stone and Schönrogge 2003). According to the
present finding, host-plant genotype may have a
significant impact on gall size for this gallerhost plant
system. The data also predict significant differences in
gall density between trees within species, evidencing
intraspecific variability to O. maskelli within these two
Eucalyptus species.
Closterocerus chamaeleon was reared from all leaf
samples infested with O. maskelli. The mean percent-
age of parasitoid emergences from O. maskelli galls in
collected leaf samples varied between 63.5% in
September and 9.6% in November. This value refers
to emergences observed during one month and may
reflect successful parasitization that occurred just
before the collection of samples. In the beginning of
September, when C. chamaeleon was first collected,
the host-to-parasitoid ratio was close to 1:1. Later on,
this ratio decreased markedly in favor of the parasit-
oid, since very few emergences of the gall wasp
occurred. This pattern indicates that the parasitoid may
remain active in the field for longer periods than the
host species. Host and parasitoid phenologies need to
be investigated throughout the year, in order to
understand the distributions observed in field samples.
Acknowledgments Thanks are due to João Barrento, Ana
Raquel Reis and Helena Santos for their help in the field
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54 Phytoparasitica (2009) 37:5154
... This may lead to stunted growth and tree mortality in severe cases (Dittrich-Schroder et al. 2018). Ophelimus maskelli causes damage by inducing numerous small pimple-like galls on both sides of the leaf surface (Branco et al. 2009). Both the larvae and the adults of Gonipterus sp.n.2 feed on eucalypt leaves and cause severe damage to the trees (Tooke 1955). ...
... Unintentional spread of some of the natural enemies recorded in this study was previously reported from other eucalypt growing regions of the world. For example, C. chamaeleon, since its intentional release in Israel in 2005 (Protasov et al. 2007), has spread to different eucalyptgrowing regions, including the Mediterranean region (Doganlar and Mendel 2007;Borrajo et al. 2008;Branco et al. 2009), Chile and Argentina (Aquino et al. 2014;Bush et al. 2016). Psyllaephagus bliteus was intentionally introduced in California, Mexico and Chile in 2000, 2002respectively (Daane et al. 2005Plascencia-González et al. 2005;Ide et al. 2006) and subsequently spread to Brazil, Colombia, several Mediterranean countries (Caleca et al. 2011;Pérez-Otero et al. 2011;Bella and Rapisarda 2013;Reguia and Peris-Filipo 2013;Karaca et al. 2015) and Portugal (Dhari et al. 2014). ...
Full-text available
Eucalypt forestry in sub-Saharan Africa is challenged by non-native eucalypt-feeding insects. In recent studies, six invasive eucalypt insect pests, namely Blastopsylla occidentalis, Glycaspis brimblecombei, Gonipterus sp.n.2, Leptocybe invasa, Thaumastocoris peregrinus and Ophelimus maskelli were confirmed present in sub-Saharan Africa. We investigated the diversity and distribution of natural enemies of these pests in six countries in the region. Plant parts (leaves, petioles and stem) infested with the insect pests were sampled from multiple sites in each country. The emerged natural enemies were identified using morphological characteristics and DNA sequence data. Nine species of natural enemies were confirmed present in the surveyed countries, namely Anaphes nitens, Closterocerus chamaeleon, Megastigmus sp., M. pretorianensis, Psyllaephagus blastopsyllae, P. bliteus, Quadrastichus mendeli, Selitrichodes kryceri and S. neseri. No natural enemies were found in Ghana and Sierra Leone despite the presence of L. invasa in both of those countries. Interestingly, most of these natural enemies were unintentionally introduced into the surveyed countries. Results of this study showed that both insect pests and natural enemies introduced into one country are likely to affect many other countries in the region. These findings call for a more coordinated approach to the management of plantation pests in the region.
... strategies for augmentative releases of C. chamaeleon in Eucalyptus commercial plantations around the world, the set of suitable vial types and environmental conditions to rear adults of O. eucalypti, O. maskelli and C. chamaeleon would be important information to determine the developmental period and survival rate of these insects (Branco et al., 2009;. The longevity and reproduction capacity of Ophelimus spp. ...
... The greater longevity of C. chamaeleon than of its hosts explains its widespread distribution and greater capacity as a biocontrol agent of both O. eucalypti and O. maskelli in terms of foraging capacity and parasitism rate (Branco et al., 2009;Caleca et al., 2011). This parasitoid is recorded to have parasitised up to 100% of the galls induced by O. maskelli in Sumatra and led to a satisfactory capacity of the leaves to recover after the adult parasitoid emerged from its host . ...
Ophelimus eucalypti and Ophelimus maskelli are gall wasps that are considered as a threat to the large Eucalyptus commercial plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia. However, they are partially suppressed by parasitoids including Closterocerus chamaeleon. The aim of this study was to evaluate the longevity and daily survival rate of O. eucalypti, O. maskelli and C. chamaeleon adults when receiving or not receiving food sources and also when reared in four different vial types under two environments (one environmentally-controlled and another ambient), in a laboratory in Riau, Sumatra. The rearing test of C. chamaeleon as a biocontrol agent would be used for augmentative releases. We also evaluated the duration of the stages and the complete lifespan (egg → larva → pupa → adult) of O. eucalypti in a greenhouse in Porsea, North Sumatra, Indonesia, where this species is aggressive. With few exceptions, the longevity and survival rate of O. eucalypti, O. maskelli and C. chamaeleon adults was similar between the two conditions. The longevity and survival of C. chamaeleon were much greater than those of its gall wasp hosts, and of O. eucalypti greater than that of O. maskelli. Overall, these parameters were greater for gall wasps and the parasitoid reared in the larger vial types. The food source provided to O. maskelli adults did not however benefit the longevity of this gall wasp in the best tube type. The lifespan of O. eucalypti (mean ± SD of the mean) was 44 ± 6 days in a greenhouse. The much greater longevity and survival rate of C. chamaeleon than those of its hosts are facts that trigger the success of this insect as a gall wasp parasitoid. The higher longevity and survival of O. eucalypti compared to O. maskelli contribute to the higher threat status of O. eucalypti to Eucalyptus. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... In sub-Saharan Africa, it was first reported in Ethiopia in 2002(Giliomea 2011, and subsequently spread to several countries in the continent (Mutitu et al. 2007;Zheng et al. 2014). Ophelimus maskelli has become established in Argentina, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Vietnam (Mendel et al. 2007;Branco et al. 2009;Burks et al. 2015;Asfaw 2018). It damages Eucalyptus through induction of numerous small pimple-like galls on both sides of the leaf surface (Branco et al. 2009). ...
... Ophelimus maskelli has become established in Argentina, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Vietnam (Mendel et al. 2007;Branco et al. 2009;Burks et al. 2015;Asfaw 2018). It damages Eucalyptus through induction of numerous small pimple-like galls on both sides of the leaf surface (Branco et al. 2009). In sub-Saharan Africa, it was recently reported in Ethiopia (Asfaw 2018) and South Africa (Bush et al. 2016) and has a potential to spread to other countries in the region. ...
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Eucalyptus is one of the most planted tree genera across the world, but is heavily challenged by invasive insect pests originating from the native range of these trees. The rate of introduction of non-native Eucalyptus-feeding insects has increased globally, including in sub-Saharan Africa where Eucalyptus trees have an important socio-economic role. In this study, we mapped the distribution and examined the genetic diversity of non-native Eucalyptus insect pests in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. We focused on five foliage-feeding insect pests of Eucalyptus which are known to be present in the region, namely the bluegum chalcid wasp, Leptocybe invasa; the redgum lerp psyllid, Glycaspis brimblecombei; the bronze bug, Thaumastocoris peregrinus; the Eucalyptus weevil, Gonipterus sp.n.2; and the Eucalyptus gall wasp, Ophelimus maskelli. Insect samples were collected through structured surveys and small-scale sampling which were both combined with published literature to determine the distribution of these insect pests. Genetic diversity of each of these insect pests was estimated/assessed based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) or cytochrome b (Cyt b) sequence data. Except O. maskelli, which is a relatively recent arrival, the other insect pests were found broadly distributed across the sampled countries, with first reports in many countries. Analysis of genetic diversity confirmed a common origin of geographically distant populations for G. brimblecombei and O. maskelli, moderate diversity for T. peregrinus and Gonipterus sp.n.2 and at least two distinct lineages for L. invasa. Two divergent haplogroups of L. invasa, with overlapping geographic range were confirmed in Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Compared to published literature, new haplotypes were detected for T. peregrinus, Gonipterus sp.n.2 and L. invasa, suggesting multiple introduction of those pests in the region. Results of this study will have implications for quarantine, management and future research of Eucalyptus insect pests in the region and beyond.
... In sub-Saharan Africa, it was first reported in Ethiopia in 2002(Giliomea 2011, and subsequently spread to several countries in the continent (Mutitu et al. 2007;Zheng et al. 2014). Ophelimus maskelli has become established in Argentina, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Vietnam (Mendel et al. 2007;Branco et al. 2009;Burks et al. 2015;Asfaw 2018). It damages Eucalyptus through induction of numerous small pimple-like galls on both sides of the leaf surface (Branco et al. 2009). ...
... Ophelimus maskelli has become established in Argentina, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Vietnam (Mendel et al. 2007;Branco et al. 2009;Burks et al. 2015;Asfaw 2018). It damages Eucalyptus through induction of numerous small pimple-like galls on both sides of the leaf surface (Branco et al. 2009). In sub-Saharan Africa, it was recently reported in Ethiopia (Asfaw 2018) and South Africa (Bush et al. 2016) and has a potential to spread to other countries in the region. ...
... Their presence in urban and semi-urban habitats is common in Europe; parks and gardens have been found to hold the largest number of alien arthropods amongst invaded habitats (Lopez-Vaamonde et al. 2010). Closterocerus chamaeleon ( Figure 2C), a parasitoid of O. maskelli, is renowned for its high dispersal potential in many Mediterranean countries utilizing both wind currents and human-mediated transportations (Doğanlar and Mendel 2007;Branco et al. 2009;Lo Verde et al. 2010;Caleca et al. 2011). ...
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A five-month survey on Eucalyptus spp., one of the most commonly planted trees in Cyprus, was undertaken in Limassol and Akrotiri in urban, rural and protected habitats. Two alien gall-inducing Eucalyptus wasps: Leptocybe invasa Fisher and La Salle, 2004 and Ophelimus maskelli (Ashmead, 1900) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) were recorded for the first time from Cyprus. In addition, three new alien parasitoids: Stethynium ophelimi (Huber, 2006) (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), Closterocerus chamaeleon (Girault, 1922) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and Megastigmus lawsoni Doğanlar and Hassan, 2010 (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), were reared from O. maskelli and L. invasa galls. The distribution, introduction and management actions for Eucalyptus spp. and their alien Chalcidoidea associates are discussed.
... The Australian parasitoid Closterocerus chamaeleon (Girault) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) has been used to effectively control O. maskelli in some areas of the Mediterranean Basin (Burks et al. 2015;Caleca et al. 2011;Mendel et al. 2007;Protasov et al. 2007;Rizzo et al. 2006). Closterocerus chamaeleon has already exhibited strong potential for independent expansion to populations of O. maskelli in distant areas, such as Portugal (Branco et al. 2009), and there is the possibility that it will spread to Gibraltar, which may help mitigate any potential impacts of this pest. The Australian parasitoid Psyllaephagus bliteus Riek (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) has been released to control G. brimblecombei in Chile, Mexico and the USA (Daane et al. 2005). ...
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Four invasive eucalypt-feeding insects, native to Australia, are recorded from Gibraltar for the first time: the gall-forming wasps Ophelimus maskelli (Ashmead) and Leptocybe invasa Fisher & La Salle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), the lerp-forming psyllid Glycaspis brimblecombei Moore (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae), and the bronze bug Thaumastocoris peregrinus Carpintero & Dellapé (Hemiptera: Thaumastocoridae), whilst the status of two Eucalyptus longhorned borers, Phoracantha recurva Newman and P. semipunctata (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), is summarised. The former five species have been found on the red-gum tree Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh., growing in the urban environment in Gibraltar. The potential impact of these invasive species is discussed.
... sp, was observed that adults with one SSV did emerge from central ribs or stems. Therefore, it is easy to confuse them with the behavior of O. maskelli, which induces gall formation in the leaf [21,53] and O. eucalypti in the petiole and leaf blade [54]. However, Sánchez [18] points out for Spain, that the galls of the petioles or the central rib, correspond to agallicolous species other than O. eucalypti [18]. ...
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In 2003, a new gall-inducing wasp of the genus Ophelimus was detected in the Valparaíso Region (Chile), affecting tree plantations of Eucalyptus globulus Labill and Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. Since then Ophelimus has been frequently detected in different plantations in Chile, covering a widespread area. A preliminary collaborative study suggests that the micro-wasp detected should be classified as a new Ophelimus species. In this paper, using an integrative approach (including genetic, morphological, and behavioral data), we addressed the delimitation and description of this new species. This study involved the use of brood adult specimens, raised at the laboratory of MIPlagas Ltda., from infested twigs of E. globulus collected in several localities between of Valparaíso and Los Lagos Regions (Chile). Morphological structures were described according to current Eulophidae taxonomic keys, as well as additional traits, such as gall morphology and behavior. Genetic characterization was implemented using a phylogenetic approach, based on a 648 bp specific fragment of the mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase I gene (COI 5 region) obtained from collected specimens and available databases (Genbank, NCBI, and BOLDSystem). Specifically, distinctive patterns of variation were detected in traits like gall and antennae morphology, growth habit trends, and a notorious polyphenism in the setae from the sub marginal vein. Overall evidence suggests that this new entity should be considered a new species in Ophelimus, which is henceforth named Ophelimus migdanorum Molina-Mercader.
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Eucalyptus camaldulensis is an essence of the family Myrtaceae. It resists a certain salt content and the sea wind. Despite that, it subject to many factors of degradation as parasitic and harmful insects. In the last years, an insect is detected on the foliage of Eucalyptus camaldulensis trees in Algeria (North-East region). The results made it possible evidence the presence of one harmful species Leptocybe invasa Fisher & La Salle 2004 (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), this parasite has been detected in 2006, The Chronology of Gall’s emergence of Leptocybe invasa and its field infestation rate were followed since 2010, in Eucalyptus plantation in the North-East Region. Some statistical methods of Gall’s emergence of this pest is reviewed and discussed. First, after exploration, we selected the most affected trees, second, we organized the samples of each tree, we respected the orientation (North-South-East-West). For each study site 10 trees were marked. 30 leaves of each tree were removed, so it is 300 leaves for each site, which were analyzed. We used the method of time series that connects the time with the number of galls. This study is based on the number of galls observed, on both sides of the leaves. In order to highlight the degree of attack of pests. The outputs were made from October 2012 to October 2013, due to two outputs per month. Keywords: Eucalyptus, gall wasps, Eulophidae, gall inducers, Algeria.
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En este estudio se da cuenta de dos insectos gallícolas, procedentes de Australia, introducidos recientemente en la Península Ibérica, con citas del nordeste peninsular. Se trata de dos eulófidos gallícolas de los eucaliptos: uno de ellos (especie en proceso de descripción) ataca las ramas, el peciolo y la nerviación principal de las hojas de diversas especies de eucaliptos, y el otro, Ophelimus eucalypti (Gahan, 1922), ataca el limbo foliar. Su detección es especialmente relevante, puesto que ambas formas cecidógenas han sido citadas como especies plaga altamente dañinas en los eucaliptales de Nueva Zelanda y Kenia, por ejemplo, y por ello su presencia en la Península Ibérica representa un serio riesgo para las plantaciones de Eucalyptus locales. Two Australian eulophids, very harmful to Eucalyptus spp., introduced into the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) Abstract: This paper reports the occurrence of two Australian gall insects introduced recently into the Iberian Peninsula, with records from the north-east of the Peninsula. They are two eulophids which induce galls in eucalyptuses: one of them (a species in the process of being described) attacks the branches, petiole and the main leaf nervures of several Eucalyptus species and the other, Ophelimus eucalypti (Gahan, 1922), attacks the foliar limb. Their detection is particularly important, since both cecidogenic forms have been mentioned as pest species highly harmful, for example, to the eucalyptus ecosystems of New Zealand and Kenya, and therefore their presence in the Iberian Peninsula represents a serious risk for the local Eucalyptus plantations.
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Ophelimus maskelli (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), an invasive species in the Mediterranean area that occurs naturally onEucalyptus camaldulensis at Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, was studied in Israel on the same host plant. The most distinctive characteristic ofO. maskelli as compared with other congeners is the presence of only a single seta on the submarginal vein.O. maskelli shows a clear tendency to oviposit in developed, immature leaves, and it prefers to oviposit on an area of the leaf blade near the petiole. The female lays an average of 109 eggs when maintained on water alone. The egglaying distribution tended towards aggregation, and the same tendency has also been observed within and among trees. The wasp prefers to attack the lower canopy. The gall diameter ranged from 1.2 to 0.9 mm, and gall density from 11.5 to 36.0 galls cm−2, respectively. The typical color of the gall appeared as soon as third instar larva developed. Galls on shaded leaves remained green or greenish-yellow, whereas those that were exposed to the sun were reddish.O. maskelli produces three generations per year in Israel. High flight occurs among the spring generations, starting in early March. The wasps were attracted to green sticky plates much more than to the other tested colors. Heavy galling byO. maskelli results in premature shedding of the leaves, soon after the emergence of the wasps. Among the 84 eucalyptus species tested, the following 14 species were found to be suitable hosts:E. botryoides, E. bridgesiana, E. camaldulensis, E. cinerea, E. globulus, E. gunii, E. nicholii, E. pulverulenta, E. robusta, E. rudis, E. saligna, E. tereticornis andE. viminalis. This study focused on morphological and development characters that can clearly distinguishO. maskelli fromOphelimus eucalypti Gahan, and on examining the effect of crossing between eucalyptus species on the development possibilities of the wasps. Also considered were the effect of the food on adult survival, the competition between the eulophid gall makerLeptocybe invasa Fisher & LaSalle andO. maskelli, the heavy damage inflicted on eucalyptus, and the health problems and nuisance to people caused by the wasp near heavily infested trees during the mass emergence of adults.
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The Eucalyptus gall waspOphelimus maskelli (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Eulophidae: Ophelimini) and its introduced parasitoidClosterocerus chamaeleon (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Eulophidae: Entedoninae) are recorded for the first time in the Mediterranean and Aegean Regions of Turkey. Some morphological characters of adult and larva ofO. maskelli and larva ofC. chamaeleon are described and illustrated. Distributions of the two wasps collected in Turkey are given. Results indicate that the biological control agent,C. chamaeleon, has spread over 1,300 km in the 16 months since its initial release.
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Four parasitoids emerged from leaves galled by the waspOphelimus maskelli (Ashmead) that were collected in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia:Closterocerus chameleon (Girault) and an unidentified Tetrastichinae species (Eulophidae); andStethynium ophelimi Huber andStethynium breviovipositor (Huber (Mymaridae).C. chamaeleon andS. ophelimi were released in eucalyptus plantations infested withO. maskelli in Israel. The recovery of the parasitoids, as well as several aspects of their possible role in control of the galls, were studied. In view of the parasitism of the galler in Wagga Wagga, we suggest that the proportion ofS. ophelimi in the Israeli population ofO. maskelli will increase markedly as soon as the gall wasp population density reaches a very low level.
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Closterocerus chamaeleon (Girault) (Hymenoptera; Eulophidae) was introduced into Israel for biological control of its family member, a gall-inducing pest Ophelimus maskelli (Ashmead). Closterocerus chamaeleon appears to be a widespread species in Australia, ranging from northern Queensland to Victoria and Western Australia. It was reared from galls on Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh., E. tereticornis (=umbellata Smith.), E. amplifolia Naudin, E. cloziana F.Muell. and E. rudis Endl. Closterocerus chamaeleon is a uniparental species; at 25 °C the entire development was completed in 3 weeks. Galls containing late second or third instar larvae and pupae of O. maskelli are suitable for successful development. A total of about 12,000 C. chamaeleon adults were liberated in Israel. Our findings suggest that C. chamaeleon seems to be an efficient agent and has already lowered the population density of its host galler in some locations after less than a year since its release. The parasitoid is active throughout the winter when development of its host is virtually arrested. The fast spread of C. chamaeleon was demonstrated by its occupying areas 120 km away from the release point in less than a year. Green sticky traps are a reliable and practical device for monitoring and sampling both O. maskelli and C. chamaeleon. The taxonomy of C. chamaeleon is discussed, as well as several aspects of its life seasonal histories, effect of food on adult survival and its role in possible successful control of O. maskelli.
Scelio fulgidus Crawford, a hymenopterous parasite of eggs ofAcrididae, was discovered in samples of the aerial fauna, collected at 100–300 m altitude over grassland at a site in central western New South Wales at 2 sampling periods in October/November 1979. The parasite was recorded throughout the day in conditions of convective uplift suggesting that extensive diurnal dispersal occurred on the prevailing wind at distances varying from 100 to 300 km per day. Take-off at dusk of its major host, the Australian plague locust (Chortoicetes terminifera Walker), was observed in one period and direct aerial sampling at 100–300 m altitude subsequently confirmed the presence of this locust in the upper airflow at night. The mean wind vector did not differ greatly between day or night during this sampling period, suggesting that parasite and host were dispersed independently over the same general area by prevailing winds. Aerial dispersal provides a new explanation of the parasitism byScelio of egg beds of immigrant swarms of the plague locust in areas where hosts were previously absent.