FABI ships biocontrol agent to Uganda 2019-06-18
Thaumastocoris peregrinus, the bronze bug, is not only a pest attacking Eucalyptus in South Africa but is also a problem in several other African countries. In South Africa, the egg parasitoid Cleruchoides noackae has been used as a biological control agent since 2013. Due to the labour-intensive rearing process, C. noackae is no longer reared at FABI. Instead, should there be a request for the parasitoid, bronze bug eggs are collected from the field and checked for the presence of the parasitoid. Once this has been confirmed, the eggs are sent to where they are needed.
At the end of April, Peter Kiwuso from the National Forestry Resources Research Institute (NaFORRI) in Uganda visited FABI. The purpose of this visit was to collect a shipment of parasitized bronze bug eggs for release against the bronze bug in Uganda. A small petri dish containing eggs was kept aside to confirm the presence of the parasitoid. Based on the emergence of parasitoids in the petri dish (the black dots visible on the filter paper in the photo), thousands of C. noackae were sent to Uganda.
Many FABI students and staff members need to be thanked for making this shipment possible. These include Sandisiwe Jali, Celani Nkosi, Matthew Jackson, Onke Gayiya and Christoff Joubert for collecting bronze bug eggs in the field. These eggs were then cut out and packaged for shipment to Uganda and assisting with this were Celani Nkosi, Matthew Jackson, Privilege Makunde, Elisa Pal, Dr Mesfin Gossa and Agil Katumanyane. Professor Stefan Neser is thanked for finding the site.