So what's the problem?
Since the first discovery of cherry bark tortrix, Enarmonia formosana (Scopoli) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), in British Columbia, Canada in 1989, populations of this pest species have increased and expanded southward into Washington and Oregon States, USA. Enarmonia formosana larvae feed beneath the bark of Prunus and other related rosaceous trees, inflicting significant damage to the phloem and cambium layers and in some cases causing eventual death of the tree.
During its introduction from its native range of Eurasia and northern Africa, E. formosana appears to have been separated from the natural enemies normally keeping its population under control. Recognising the threat that E. formosana poses to the lucrative nursery and orchard industries on North America’s west coast, a project was initiated in 1998 to try to identify a biological control solution for this pest.
What is this project doing?
The main objectives of the project were:
Results so far
Results from bioassays using a four-arm olfactometer indicate that parasitoid females strongly prefer the odour of cherry bark to that of cherry leaves. This suggests that species living in and around the tree bark are more likely to be encountered by C. dubitator than leaf-dwellers and should thus be given priority in host range tests. Behavioural tests further indicate that C. dubitator and C. capitator, which are molecularly indistinct, are in fact two distinct parasitoid species.
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