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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Can One Insect Save An Industry?

photo
The Red Palm Weevil, another invasive species that has been found in California. (Courtesy Center For Invasive Species Research)The Asian Citrus Psyllid,  an invasive insect that spreads a disease that kills citrus trees. (Courtesy of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences)The Tamarixia Radiata,  a predator from Pakistan that scientists are hoping will help eradicate the Asian Citrus Psyllid. (Courtesy Center For Invasive Species Research)

It’s just a tiny brown wasp, smaller than a grain of rice, but experts believe a little bug may be able to save California’s $1.8 billion citrus industry from an insect that has already decimated Florida’s orange groves.

The Tamarixia Radiata is a predator from Pakistan that scientists are hoping will help eradicate the Asian Citrus Psyllid, an invasive insect that spreads a disease that kills citrus trees and causes economic and environmental problems.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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