Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Wasps hooked on the smell of mussels

Wasps hooked on the smell of mussels


Auckland, New Zealand. 18 February 2014...New Zealand green-lipped mussels might hold the key to controlling that dreaded summer insect – the wasp.

Scientists at Plant & Food Research have been trying to identify new ways to control wasps in beech forests, where the insects have a detrimental effect on native fauna. However, the breakthrough came while two members of the research team were on a fishing expedition.

“We couldn’t help noticing how attracted the wasps were to the mussels we were using as fish bait,” says Project Leader Dr Ashraf El-Sayed. “Being scientists, we looked into it.”

The research team, including visiting Professor Rikard Unelius from Linneaus University in Sweden, investigated the smell produced by the mussels and identified a mixture of compounds that were highly attractive to the wasps. The team believe that these compounds could form the basis for a new generation of control methods for wasps.

“Vespid wasps are highly abundant in New Zealand’s indigenous beech forests, due, in part, to the vast supply of honeydew, which is also a major food source for native birds and insects,” says Dr El-Sayed. “Traditionally, wet cat food has been used as bait, but this degrades rapidly and has to be replaced often. By identifying new compounds that attract wasps, we can control them more effectively. Using compounds from New Zealand mussels may provide a sustainable method for controlling these insect invaders.”

The research is published in the Journal of Applied Entomology and was funded through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

http://plantandfood.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1b46d14e528ad30bae8b3663c&id=e5b6155fdf&e=5b367992d8

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Budget Policy Statement: Spending Wins Over Tax Cuts; Big Ticket Items Get Boost

Income tax cuts are on hold as the government says “responding to the earthquakes and reducing debt are currently of higher priority”, although election year tax sweeteners remain possible. More>>

ALSO:

Fishy: Is Whitebaiting Sustainable?

The whitebait fry - considered a delicacy by many - are the juveniles of five species of galaxiid, four of which are considered threatened or declining. The SMC asked freshwater experts for their views on the sustainability of the whitebait fishery and whether we're doing enough to monitor the five species of galaxiid that make up whitebait. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Smaller-Than-Expected Four-Month Deficit

The New Zealand government's accounts recorded a smaller-than-forecast deficit in the first four months of the fiscal year on a higher-than-expected inflow of corporate and goods and services tax. More>>

ALSO:

On For Christmas: KiwiRail Ferries Back In Full Operation After Quake

KiwiRail’s Interislander ferries are back in full operation for the first time since the Kaikoura earthquake, with the railspan that allows rail wagons to be loaded on the Aratere now restored. More>>

ALSO:

Comerce Commission Investigation: Prosecutions Over Steel Mesh Labelling

Steel & Tube Holdings, along with two other companies, will be prosecuted by the Commerce Commission following the regulator's investigation into seismic steel mesh, while Fletcher Building's steel division has been given a warning. More>>

ALSO:

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news