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Gall Wasp - Leptocybe invasa
Leptocybe invasa is a gall inducing wasp on several eucalyptus species. It was first reported in the Middle East in 2000 and has spread to most Mediterranean countries, Asia and Africa. It was detected in Vietnam in 2002 and more recently in Thailand where it is reported to spread fast
and cause serious damage to young plantations and nursery seedlings of K7. It has been detected in Lao PDR and poses a serious threat to ourEucalyptus
plantations. Monitoring is of critical importance to determine the distribution of the pest and the damage caused.
The wasp is very small with average length of 1.2 mm. The head and body are brown in colourwith a slight blue to green shine.
Symptoms and damage
The wasp inserts eggs in the epidermis of newly developed leaves on both sides of the mid-rib, in the petioles of young leaves and in stems of new
growth of young trees, young coppice as well as nursery seedlings (Fig.1). Galls develop within 1-2 weeks resulting in deformed leaves and shoots.All new growth may be damagedduring an inten-sive outbreak causing substantial injury to young trees, stunting growth and eventually weakening the tree.
Look out for gall formation and deformation of leaves and shoots of young Eucalyptus and report such symptoms to management.
PEST ALERT—Tree Protection Co-operative
Programme Newsletter Nov_2005. (http:// fabinet.up.ac.za)