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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Tiwai Point (And Saying “No” In Greece)

Its hard to see how Rio Tinto’s one month delay in announcing its intentions about the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter is a good sign for (a) the jobs of the workers affected or (b) for the New Zealand taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Dairy Product Prices Extend Slide To Six-Year Low

Dairy product prices continued their slide, paced by whole milk power, in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, weakening to the lowest level in six years. More>>

ALSO:

Copper Broadband: Regulator Set To Keep Chorus Pricing Largely Unchanged

The Commerce Commission looks likely to settle on a price close to its original decision on what telecommunications network operator Chorus can charge its customers, though it probably won’t backdate any update. More>>

ALSO:

Lower Levy For Safer Cars: ACC Backtracks On Safety Assessments

Dog and Lemon: “The ACC has based the entire levy system on a set of badly flawed data from Monash University. This Monash data is riddled with errors and false assumptions; that’s the real reason for the multiple mistakes in setting ACC levies.” More>>

ALSO:

Fast Track: TPP Negotiations Set To Accelerate, Groser Says

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will accelerate in July, with New Zealand officials working to stitch up a deal by the month's end, according to Trade Minister Tim Groser. More>>

ALSO:

Floods: Initial Assessment Of Economic Impact

Authorities around the region have compiled an initial impact assessment for the Ministry of Civil Defence, putting the estimated cost of flood recovery at around $120 million... this early estimate includes social, built, and economic costs to business, but doesn’t include costs to the rural sector. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news