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Data from: Establishment of the wasp Tetramesa romana for biological control of Arundo donax in northern California and the role of release plot manipulation

posted on 2024-04-18, 15:45 authored by Ellyn Bitume, D. Valle Rogers, Paul PrattPaul Pratt, John A. Goolsby, Patrick MoranPatrick Moran

Arundo donax is a non-native, invasive large-statured grass of riparian systems in the southwestern U.S.A., including the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds of northern California and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In 2017, the shoot tip-galling wasp Tetramesa romana was released at nine sites, three in each region. Shoots in some release plots were manipulated prior to release by cutting to ground or pruning to 1 m height, while others were left uncut. One year later, exit holes made by emerging adult wasps were found at two of nine sites. Exit hole density per main shoot length was 16-fold higher on regrowth shoots in ground-cut plots than in uncut plots. An additional plot manipulation study at two other sites found that exit hole density per shoot length was 19-fold higher in plots that were double-cut (cut to ground and regrowth pruned) than in single-cut plots. By 2023, T. romana was established at eight sites spanning both river watersheds and their Delta with dispersal up to 6.4 km, based on dissection of shoots, multi-year counts of exit holes and galls, and trapping of adult T. romana with sticky traps. The abundance of T. romana may be limited in northern California by low annual heat unit accumulation. The results show that physical manipulation of host plants improves short-term establishment and demonstrate the importance of using multiple monitoring methods to determine long-term establishment.


USDA-ARS: 2030-22000-033-00D

USDA-FS: 22IA11052021250


Data contact name

Moran, Patrick, J

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Intended use

Use in meta-analysis by other scientists, or as practical information for weed control practitioners seeking to use biological control to manage populations of Arundo donax.

Use limitations


Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • continual


  • Non-geospatial

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

Sacramento River watershed-Stony Creek, Glenn County, Orland, California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta-Sacramento River, Sacramento County, near Oakley, Rio Vista and Walnut Creek, California San Joaquin River watershed, Cottonwood Creek and Berenda Slough, Madera County, Madera, California

ISO Topic Category

  • biota
  • environment

Ag Data Commons Group

  • AgBioData

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

wasps; Tetramesa; biological control; California; Arundo donax; invasive species; grasses; Southwestern United States; San Joaquin River; watersheds; shoots; cutting; pruning; imagos; regrowth; rivers; galls; trapping; sticky traps; heat; host plants; monitoring; meta-analysis; weed control

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 304

ARIS Log Number


Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public