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

 

Real Estate: Housing Prices Head South In Most Of NZ

Housing became more affordable for first home buyers in many parts of the country including Auckland last month, as falling prices more than offset rising mortgage interest rates. More>>

ALSO:

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news