Washington State Department of Agriculture announced this week that traps targeted for Asian Giant Hornet also caught a new beneficial insect. The parasitic wasp Leptopilina japonica kills spotted winged drosophila (SWD) in it’s native range (Puppato et al. 2020). This is the first report of L. japonica in the United States though it has been previously reported in British Columbia. Dr. Paul Abrams spoke about his research related to this parasitoid in British Columbia at the 2020 Washington Small Fruit Conference.
There is still a lot to learn about the effectiveness of this wasp and how it integrates into pest management programs in Northwestern Washington. But it is good news and likely another tool in the toolbox for SWD management.
Puppato, S., A. Grassi, F. Pedrazzoli, Antonio De Cristofaro, C. Ioriatte. 2020.
First Report of Leptopilina japonica in Europe. Insects 11(9): 13 pages.