Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa
FISNA workshop on Classical Biological Control
by Brett Hurley (FABI, University of Pretoria)
From the 3rd to 5th November 2019, participants from government research institutes and universities gathered at Future Africa, University of Pretoria, for a FISNA workshop on the implementation of classical biological control to manage insect pests in plantation forests.
The workshop was organized by the current Coordinator of FISNA, Prof. Brett Hurley (FABI, University of Pretoria), together with Ms Samantha Bush and a great FABI Team! The workshop followed the recent FAO “Guide to the classical biological control of insect pests in planted and natural forests” and included lively discussion and practical sessions.
The participants for the workshop were funded by FAO and included 23 people from 14 different African countries, namely Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This is in addition to the FABI staff and students involved in the workshop, as well as Dr Marc Kenis (CABI, Switzerland), Prof. Jeremy Allison (Natural Resources Canada) and Dr. Shiroma Sathyapala (FAO, Rome), who contributed to the discussion sessions.
The workshop was successful in providing training, sharing information and building capacity towards implementing biological control – a key strategy in responding to invasive forest insect pests on the continent.
Thank you to FAO for their amazing support for this workshop!
Eucalyptus Leaf Roller: New insect pest reported in South Africa
[South Africa, May 2019] The leaf-roller caterpillar, Strepsicrates sp., is a pest of Eucalyptus and has been confirmed as present in South Africa. The larvae of this insect roll Eucalyptus leaves together using webbed material to form a shelter and then feed on the plant Mssue within this leaf roll, causing the leaves to be skeletonized and to eventually die. Pupation occurs inside a silken cocoon within the rolled leaves. The potential impact of this insect on Eucalyptus in South Africa must still be determined, but introduced leaf rollers of Eucalyptus in other countries have been reported to mainly impact nurseries, seed orchards and young Eucalyptus plantations, where they cause damage to shoot tips, leaves and developing flowers.
Pest alert: Strepsicrates
[Lebanon, 4th of April 2019] The new guide to the classical biological control of insect pests in planted and natural forests was launched in Brummana, Lebanon during the 6th Mediterranean Forest Week.
Click here or on the picture to download it.
Invasive beetle threatens natural and urban forest fruit trees
The PSHB (polyphagous shothole borer or Euwallacea fornicatus) and its fungus were discovered in South Africa in 2017. The beetle has since spread to a number of provinces in the country where it has infested and killed large numbers of trees. This small (2 mm long) ambrosia beetle has an extraordinary wide host range. It has already been reported on many popular tree species grown in urban areas of South Africa, and is also a pest of pecan nut trees, avocado and other fruit trees.
Native to Southeast Asia, the beetle had previously spread to Israel and California. This was the first report of the insect in Africa, but it is likely to spread to other African countries in the near future.
It is important that forest health staff in Africa familiarize themselves with the symptoms of this insect. Early detection could greatly assist in management interventions. More information can be obtained on the FABI website: PSHB and its fungus in South Africa.