11 Jul 2022

FEM confirms Ganaspis b. will be used against Drosophila s.

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Also for the 2022 season, the Ministry of Ecological Transition has givenpermission for the release of Ganaspis brasiliensis, the parasitoid imported by the Edmund Mach Foundation in 2020 and able to combat Drosophila suzukii, the Asian midge of berries.

The release of the Ganaspis had already begun in mid-June following an initial decree authorising launches at sites already used in 2021, but just yesterday the Autonomous Province of Trento's Agricultural Service - with the FEM representing Trentino at the national Drosophila suzukii table coordinated by CREA DC - received the final go-ahead for some additional sites.

The release areas include some of Trentino 's areas with the greatest vocation for cerasiculture and berries: Valsugana (5 sites), Val d'Adige (4 sites), Vallagarina (1 site), Valle dei Mocheni (1 site), Altopiano di Pinè (1 site). Following a new MiTE decree, Trentino will now increase from 12 to 20 launch sites, including a further 8 sites by 2022, located in Val di Non (2 sites), Val di Sole (1 site), Valle dei Laghi (1 site), Valle di Cembra (1 site), Altipiano della Vigolana (1 site), Giudicarie (1 site) and a further site in Valsugana.

Drosophila suzukii
Drosophila suzukii (photo Oregon Department of Agriculture)

The other regions that have been participating in the biological control project since last year alongside the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano are Veneto, Val d'Aosta, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Campania, Sicily and Apulia. As of this year, Lombardy and Tuscany are also joining.

The news of the increased release was greeted with satisfaction at the Mach Foundation, where for months researchers and technicians have been busy in the quarantine chambers breeding and multiplying the Ganaspis, the vespina native to the Far East and harmless to humans.

Last year, the results of monitoring, carried out following the first release season, allowed Ganaspis to be recaptured in 50% of the sites where it had been released, suggesting a high degree of establishment of the parasitoid and confirming its absolute specificity towards D. suzukii.

The increase in sites for 2022 will favour the spread of this efficient natural enemy of the Asian midge across the province, speeding up the positive effects that can be achieved in the coming years in terms of reducing infestations of cherries and berries. 

Photo: Oregon Department of Agriculture

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