BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROL IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Biological control was practiced early in the Middle East, flourishing especially in Israel and Egypt about the same time that it did in California. The subtropical climates in Israel favored the production of a diverse agriculture as it did in California, with the accompanying diversity of pests. Also, because of the mild climate biological control was readily successful. Similarities in climate with California, Florida and Texas naturally favored collaboration among scientists in the Middle East with those areas of the United States. Natural enemies were, and continue to be, frequently exchanged. Israel starting at the beginning of the 20th Century (or Palestine as it was then called) provided considerable theoretical expertise on population dynamics related to biological control. In recent times, scientists in the Middle East have also developed liaison with those in southern Africa and Australia where similar climates and crops prevail. However, the University of California provided the basic training for most Middle East biological control researchers after the 1950's when courses in this discipline were first formally organized.
There has been a successful establishment of Goniozus legneri Gordh on carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae attacking almonds in Israel. Dr. Shmuel Gothilf who obtained the parasitoids from Dr. E. F. Legner in California performed the research. A detailed scientific account was submitted for publication but was never published with the unexpected demise of Dr. Gothilf. In his manuscript, Dr. Gothilf recorded the establishment and spread over all of Israel of G. legneri, and it was expected that population densities of the carob moth along with the peach twig borer would be gradually reduced, perhaps to non-economic levels. .It would be interesting to survey neighboring countries, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, for the existence of G. legneri. [Please refer to California Research to view details of the parasitoid]
Please refer also to Ahmed el-Heneidy