Sirex woodwasp, Sirex noctilio F. (Hymenoptera: Siricidae), a borer, is considered a potential major pest of pines in the United States, especially in the South. The woodwasp, a native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, was inadvertently introduced into New Zealand, Australia, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and South Africa.
In its native range, the woodwasp attacks pines such as Scotch (Pinus sylvestris), Austrian (P. nigra), and maritime (P. pinaster) Sirex has killed up to 80 percent of the trees in southern hemisphere pine plantations planted with North American pine species, especially Monterey pine (P. radiata) and loblolly pine (P. taeda). Other known susceptible pines include slash (P. elliottii), shortleaf (P. echinata), ponderosa (P. ponderosa), lodgepole (P. contorta), and jack (P. banksianahas).
Sirex is the most common species of exotic woodwasp detected at United States ports-of-entry associated with solid wood packing materials and has been found in New York forests. Awareness of the symptoms and signs of a sirex woodwasp infestation increases the chance of early detection, and thus, the rapid response needed to contain and manage this exotic forest pest.
The Southern Research Station is implementing a research program to develop the tools, technology and information to detect and manage the competition between fungi associated with Sirex woodwasp and the southern pine beetle.