Rare Asian Wasp Discovered Near Brinkley

OCTOBER 10, 2006 - Posted at 7:48 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A large wasp from southeast Asia has been found for the first time in Arkansas.

Statet zoologist Michael Warriner found the Asian horntail off Arkansas 17 near Brinkley on October 6.  The wasp, about one-and-a-half inches long, was first found in the United States in Georgia and Florida during the mid-1970s.

The Arkansas discovery extends the known range of the species north by 230 miles.

The Asian horntail, native to Vietnam, Laos and Taiwan, lays eggs in stressed and dying trees.  Along with the eggs, the wasp places a fungus on the trees for its eggs to eat.  The spreading fungus degrades the tree's wood.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)