Effect of temperature on woodwasp (Sirex noctilio F.) development and parasitism by the entomopathogenic nematode, Deladenus siricidicola

Fazila Yousuf, Angus J. Carnegie, Robin A. Bedding, Richard Bashford, Helen I. Nicol, Geoff M. Gurr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The woodwasp, Sirex noctilio, is a significant global pest of exotic pine plantations in the Southern Hemisphere and now threatens native pine forests in North America. Management in Australia relies on biocontrol using the nematode, Deladenus (= Beddingia) siricidicola (Bedding), which infects and sterilises females who then further disperse the nematode. This pest is spreading into warmer regions in Australia and South America and coupled with the threat of global climate change, there is uncertainty as to how increasing temperatures will affect the biocontrol program. S. noctilio within nematode-inoculated wood were reared at four temperatures (24, 25.3, 26.6 and 28 °C) to investigate the effects of elevated temperatures on wasp development (emergence time, sex ratio and size), development of eggs (number, size, and maturation) and infection by the nematode. At 24 °C, which reflects current field temperature, S. noctilio were bigger in size and all the eggs were normal and all were infected with nematodes. Modest rises in temperature reflecting climate change scenarios resulted in smaller sized S. noctilio, disrupted egg development and maturation, and lowered the nematode sterilisation rate in females. Reduced S. noctilio female body size and egg infection will likely compromise biocontrol by D. siricidicola in its current distribution, but disrupted egg development may act directly on the pest, limiting dispersal of S. noctilio into subtropical pine plantations and adaptation to climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Control
Early online date28 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Beddingia siricidicola
  • Biological control
  • Parasitism
  • Pinus radiata
  • Trap trees
  • Climate change


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