Sirex noctilio is a wood-boring wasp native to Eurasia & north Africa utilizing stressed host trees in the Pinus, Abies, and Picea generas. It has been introduced to the southern hemisphere resulting in large-scale economic loses of exotic pine plantations, mainly montery pine (Pinus radiata). It was recently introduced to New York, raising concerns for native and commercially valuable pines in North America.
Like many hymenopterans this species is haplodiploid. Unfertilized eggs produce male offspring (haploid) and fertilized eggs produce female offspring (diploid).
Females use a long, wood boring ovipositor at the terminus of their abdomen to drill into host trees. Symbiotic fungal spores of Amylostereum areolatum, a white-rot basidiomycete, are injected into host trees. Females also inject a phytotoxic mucus and eggs via their ovipositor. Preliminary drills are conducted into host trees to assess wood conditions and inject mucus & fungal spores prior to egg deposition. The mucus kills the tree conditioning it for the symbiotic fungus, which developing larvae will feed upon as they bore through the wood. Egg eclosion can take 8-64 days and is highly dependent on temperature. Once the eggs have hatched, larvae bore through the wood and develop for the next year entering diapause during winter months. Small subsets of populations have shown a 2-year life-cycle and others have shown shortened, 3-month development.
Males emerge prior to females and sex ratios are generally skewed toward males with a 3:1 ratio, some have been greater.
Sirex longicauda (Middlekauff)
- Native to the U.S., its current distribution throughout CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, and UT. There are records of occurence in eastern states, but these were probably from infested wood from the west
Sirex areolatus (Cresson)
- Native to the U.S. current distribution includes most of the western states and Canadian provinces.
Efforts have been made to regulate S. noctilio populations by the use of natural biological controls. Parasitic wasps, Ibalia leucospoides, Rhyssa persausoria, Rhyssa lineolata, and Megarhyssa nortoni, have been released and monitored for their success of control S. noctilio populations within invaded areas.
The most successful biological control observed is with the nematode, Deladenus siricidicola, which attacks female eggs & ovaries rendering them sterile, rapidly reducing S. noctilio population sizes.
Though biological control may sound "environmentally sound" a caveat exists; introducing an exotic predator to manage a pest may have deleterious effects on native flora and fauna (see Parry, 2007).
Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.
ACACTATATTTTCTTTTTGAAGTATGAGCAGGAATWATTGGATCCTCTATAAGAATTATTATTCGAACAGAATTAATATCTTCTAATCCTTTTATTACTAAT---GATCATTTATTTAATTCAATTATCACAAGTCATGGATTAATTATAATTTTCTTCATAATTATACCAATTATAATAGGAGGATTTGGAAATTGATTACTCCCTTTAATTTTAAATTCACCTGATATAGCTTTTCCTCGAATAAATAATTTTAGATTCTGACTCCTTCCTCCTGCTTTATTACTTTTATTATTAAGAATACTAACTAGTTTAGGTCCAGGAACTGGTTGAACTCTTTATCCTCCTCTTTCTTCTTTTCCTTCTCACTCAAATATATCTGTTGATTTAAGAATTTTATCTATACATTTAGCAGGAATTTCATCAATTTTAGGATCAATTAATTTTATTTCAACTTTTATTAATATACATTGCTCTTCATTAAATATAGAACATTTACCTTTATTTACATGATCTATTAATATTACCGCAATCTTACTAGTAATTTCATTACCTGTTCTTGCTGGAGCAATCACTATACTTTTAACAGATCGAAATTTTAATACAACTTTTTTTGATCCTGCTGGAGGAGGAGATCCTATTTTATTTCAACATTTATTTTGATTTTTTGGTCANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNCCAGGATTTGGAATAATTTCTCATTTAATTATTAATGAAAGAAGAAAAAAAGAAACTTTTGGTACATTAAGTATAATTTACGCAATTATTTCAATTGGTCTACTAGGATTTATTGTATGAGCTCATCATATATTTACTGTTGGTTTAGATATTGATACTCGTG -- end --