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 Sirex woodwasp attacks pines such as Scotch (Pinus sylvestris), Austrian (P. nigra), and maritime (P. pinaster). In the Southern Hemisphere, Sirex noctilio has devastated pine plantations planted with North American 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. banksiana).
Exotic woodwasps are occasionally detected at United States ports-of-entry associated with solid wood packing materials. Sirex noctilio was first discovered in New York forests in 2004. 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.
To learn more, contact Nathan Schiff, Research Entomologist with the Southern Research Station.
Find research publications about the Sirex woodwasp on Treesearch.