University of Georgia researcher John Ruberson is looking for natural enemies of the kudzu bug in an effort to fight the pest’s spread across the Southern states. A tiny Asian wasp may be the best option. The kudzu bug was first spotted in Georgia in the fall of 2009. It feeds on kudzu, soybeans and other legumes and has become a nuisance to homeowners and a threat to international trade as an agricultural contaminant.A test runThis summer in collaboration with colleagues Walker Jones, of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Stoneville, Miss. and Jeremy Greene of Clemson University Ruberson plans to test the effectiveness of an egg parasitoid as a kudzu bug control method. A parasitoid is an organism that spends the immature portion of its life attached to or within a single host organism causing the host to die. Ruberson’s parasitoid of choice is Paratelenomus saccharalis, a tiny wasp no larger than the period at the end of this sentence. The wasp lays its ow egg in each kudzu bug egg, and the developing wasp larva destroys the kudzu bug egg as it develops. And, the wasp doesn’t sting humans.“Using classical biological control is an option in the tool kit,” said Ruberson, an entomologist in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “There are several known parasitoids, one pathogen from India and one predator from Pakistan that are all natural enemies of the kudzu bug.”UGA scientists “know very little” about the predator and the pathogen, Ruberson said. They are working closely with Keiji Takasu of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan who has extensive knowledge of the wasp.It has to be safe for the ecosystem“We have to demonstrate the safety of the organism before it can be released,” he said. “We want to make sure it’s a safe release so it doesn’t mess up the ecosystem.” Ruberson and his colleagues are applying for a USDA permit for parasitoid release and will follow the required steps to ensure the wasp isn’t a danger to native insects and pests.UGA researchers are still searching for natural kudzu bug enemies that are native to Georgia and the Southeast. “We haven’t found any egg parasites in the past two years in Georgia on kudzu or soybean,” Ruberson said. “We have found some chewed kudzu bug eggs that have been damaged by something. We just don’t know by what yet.”Kudzu bug buffetJones and Ruberson set up makeshift kudzu bug buffets in their laboratories to find out whether or not native egg parasites and predators like to dine on the new pest. Native egg parasites “show no interest” in the eggs, Ruberson said. He offered common predators a meal of 10 kudzu bug nymphs and observed their dining habits. Two predator species (big-eyed bugs) ate all the nymphs and the rest ate 20 to 30 percent of the nymphs.“Lady beetle larvae ate quite a few, but the adults weren’t interested,” Ruberson said. “We do have some native predators that like to eat the nymphs, but we need to find out what they will do in the field. These species are all generalists. They may move back and forth between types of insects and not provide consistent control.”
Governor Peter Shumlin today announced that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will pave an additional 23 miles of state highway than was originally planned to occur. ‘Vermonters know our roads are in really tough shape this year and I’m pleased to announce that VTrans has made adjustments in order to fund additional paving this construction season’ Governor Shumlin said. ‘State highways have incurred serious damage from the heavy snow falls of this past winter followed by record-breaking spring rain. The additional investment into paving to the areas of greatest need will help improve road surfaces across the State,’ he said. VTrans is taking advantage of a provision passed by the Legislature that authorizes the transfer of up to $2 million to paving for the specific purpose of addressing the condition of state highways that incurred damage from the severe winter. The additional funding will be used by the Agency’s nine Maintenance Districts to ‘level’ 23 additional miles of roadway this summer and fall. The supplemental funding increases the total planned ‘leveling’ from $4 million to $6 million, and from 38 miles to 61 miles. Unlike the Agency’s main paving program, which provides long-term road surface treatments, leveling is designed to provide a thin layer of surface treatment with an expected lifespan of three-to-five years. ‘VTrans identified for leveling 61 miles of roadway in 25 different towns spread all over the state,’ Transportation Secretary Brian Searles said. ‘The projects range in size from as long as 6.9 miles of Route 108 in Berkshire to as short as six-tenths of a mile of Route 2 in South Burlington.’ During fiscal year 2012, VTrans anticipates improving over 100 miles of interstate highways, approximately 160 miles of state highways, and numerous grants to towns for improvements to town highways.
“These games really don’t mean anything,” Brynat said. “In a 20 or 30-point (blowout) game, you can’t judge anything in these type of games. You really can’t.”Scott judged plenty, however, on Scott’s progression.He said he was “not surprised or disappointed” Russell’s recent play contrasted last month’s outburst. In his first 10 games in his second stint as a starter, Russell averaged 21 points, 4.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds, while shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 46.3 percent from 3-point range. “I wanted to keep even keel and see how he would end up,” Scott said. “He’s come down a little bit. But I still think the upside is so great for him.”So, Scott has not focused on those fluctuating numbers. Scott also made little of Russell recently surpassing Nick Van Exel for most 3-pointers made by a rookie in Lakers history. Instead, Scott said he wants Russell to spend his offseason bulking up in the weight room, studying film, learning the offense and mastering defensive concepts. In other words, Scott suggested Russell remains far from a finished product. “I want him to be looking at the other parts of the game,” Scott said. “That’s part of the problem that he’s focusing on the offensive part of the game. Let’s focus on the defensive end, getting over screens and being a help defender, rebounding the ball and getting deflections. When you take the focus off of that, it comes to you.”Bryant argued, however, that Russell should focus on one thing offensively. The Lakers’ 37-year-old star scoffed at Russell’s suggestion that Bryant has told him to pass the ball whenever possible in his final game. “If he’s open, he better shoot the damn ball,” Bryant said. “If you want to honor the career I had, you play the game the right way, the way it’s supposed to be played.”Updated itineraryNick Young’s tardiness once became a point of contention for Scott. Not in this instance, though. Young arrived to Smoothie King Center shortly after tipoff against the Pelicans, though he has not played for 14 consecutive games. The Lakers, including Scott, declined to explain why Young did not travel with the team to New Orleans on Thursday. Instead, Young flew on Friday afternoon.Young has had lingering tension with Russell since he secretly recorded a video that recently ended up on a gossip website that showed Young admitting infidelities. Updated: A previous version of the story showed Nick Young admitting to adultery. It now says that Young, who is not married, admitted to infidelities. NEW ORLEANS >> The endless cheering for Kobe Bryant came to a sudden halt for one simple reason. After playing the first 12 minutes, Bryant sat out the entire second quarter for rest purposes in the Lakers’ 110-102 loss to Friday at Smoothie King Center. Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell could not exactly fill that buzz after hearing endless boos during lineup introductions. That’s OK. Russell filled in a much more tangible way. He posted a team-high 32 points on 9-of-16 shooting and 11-of-16 from the foul line, marking his highest scoring output since a career-high 39-point effort against Brooklyn on March 1. He also posted 13 points when Bryant rested in the second period. Lakers coach Byron Scott argued Russell “needed a good game” after averaging 12.4 points on 32.4 percent shooting, 2.4 assists and 3.0 turnovers in the previous five games. Yet, Scott lamented Russell’s two assists and poor defense. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error