Gall wasp Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) management in Eucalypts.
The invasive gall wasp Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) induces galls on the shoots of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. and E. tereticornis Sm. and damage nursery seedlings young plantations and coppice shoots. The magnitude of the damage in nurseries and young plantations necessitates increased efforts to reduce the incidence and impacts of the pest. Identification of feasible and appropriate management methods will help in reducing the high cost of containing the pest in outbreak situations and avoid loss of planting material by state Forest Departments, Corporations and farmers while raising commercial Eucalyptus plantations. Deployment of gall tolerant clones and biological control agents has been attempted in the present study. Results show that eucalyptus gall wasp in nurseries can be managed by deploying identified gall tolerant, productive clones. Release of natural enemies like Quadrastichus mendeli and Megastigmus sp. and regular monitoring of its population level in nurseries can further bring down the gall infestation.