The South American Biological Control Laboratory (SABCL) was settled in Argentina in 1962 for the study of insects to control alligator weed in the United States. The success achieved in the reduction of this weed by three insects from Argentina motivated a second project, water hyacinth. After the studies conducted at SABCL, this aquatic weed was partially controlled in the southeast of the United States by two weevils and one moth from Argentina. These insects are now in most tropical places around the world in which water hyacinth is a problem.
In 1967, several north American rangeland weeds (bitterweed, creosotebush, snakeweeds, tarbush, whitebrush, cocklebur) were selected as targets for biocontrol and SABCL started the exploration for natural enemies on south American con-generic plants. Due to conflict of interests in the control of native plants in the United States, the research programs at SABCL were reoriented in 1994.
Other past projects conducted at the SABCL included the following targets: dung and filth flies, balloon vine, horsenettle, morningglories, nutsedges, sicklepod, velvetleaf, Azolla, groundsel, musk thistle, rush skeletonweed, and Parkinsonia.
The current program includes insect pests and weeds with ARS cooperators in the United States designated by National Program Leaders, Drs. Kevin Hackett and John Lydon. Cooperative agreements exist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia, the Center for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), UK, and the Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI), South Africa. A total of 25 organisms for biocontrol have been developed or co-developed by SABCL staff and field released in the United States and other countries; several other organisms are still in quarantine for further research.
SABCL is operated by the USDA-ARS-Office of National Programs, Beltsville, MD, and supervised by Dr. Daniel Strickman, National Program Leader for Veterinary and Medical Entomology and Acting Director of the ARS Overseas Laboratories. Local support is provided by the American Embassy at Buenos Aires, mainly the Agricultural Counselor, David Mergen, at the Foreign Agriculture Service.
1- Find, evaluate, and ship to the
2- Provide guidance and logistic support to scientists conducting research in
3- Act as liaison with agricultural research agencies and universities for detecting areas of potential cooperative work
4- Report and publish the results of the investigations
The following beneficial organisms were found and evaluated for biocontrol both at SABCL and at the quarantine facility of the destination country. The organisms were finally released in the field by the cooperator scientists at destination. Some of the beneficials, especially those against waterhyacinth and alligator weed, were redistributed in many countries in Central America, Africa and Asia.
The list below includes: scientific name of the beneficial organism, common name of the target pest, year and country of first release.
1- Agasicles hygrophila, alligator weed, 1964, USA
2- Aminothrips andersonii, alligator weed, 1967, USA
3- Orthogalumna terebrantis, waterhyacinth, 1968, USA. (?)
4- Arcolla malloi, alligator weed, 1971, USA
5- Neochetina eichorniae, waterhyacinth, 1972, USA
6- Neochetina bruchi, waterhyacinth, 1974, USA
7- Niphograpta albiguttalis, waterhyacinth, 1977, USA
8- Disonycha argentinensis, alligator weed, 1980, Australia
9- Xubida infusella, waterhyacinth, 1982, USA
10- Neohydronomus affinis, waterlettuce, 1982, USA
11- Heilipodus ventralis, snakeweed, 1988, USA
12- Ontherus sulcator, dung, 1992, USA
13- Gromphas lacordairei, dung, 1992, USA
14- Penthobruchus germaini, retama, 1995, Australia
15- Kneallhazia (=Thelohania) solenopsae, imported fire ants, 1996, USA. (?)
16- Evippe sp., mesquite, 1998, Australia
17- Prosopidopsilla flava, mesquite, 1998, Australia
18- Pseudacteon curvatus biotype Buenos Aires, imported fire ants, 2000, USA
19- Pseudacteon curvatus biotype Formosa, imported fire ants, 2000, USA
20- Pseudacteon tricuspis, imported fire ants, 2003, USA
21- Gratiana boliviana, tropical soda apple, 2003, USA
22- Pseudacteon litoralis, imported fire ants, 2004, USA
23- Pseudacteon obtusus, imported fire ants, 2008, USA
24- Megamelus scutellaris, waterhyacinth, 2010, USA
25- Pseudacteon cultellatus, imported fire ants, 2010, USA
The following beneficial organisms were found and evaluated for biocontrol at SABCL. They are currently being evaluated at the quarantine facility of the destination country for eventual field release.
The list below includes: scientific name of the beneficial organism, common name of the target pest, and location of quarantine facility.
Clinodiplosis alternantherae, alligator weed,
Vairimorpha invictae, imported fire ants,
Gonatocerus spp., glassy-winged sharpshooter,
Coelocephalapion gandolfoi, mesquite,
Apocnemidophorus blandus, Brazilian peppertree, UF Gainesville, FL, USA
Chlorosteymon simaethis, balloon vine,
Cissoanthonomus tuberculipennis, balloon vine,
Liothrips sp., pompom weed,
Cochylis n.sp., pompom weed,
Adaina sp. pompom weed,
Hydrotimetes natans, fanwort,
Taosa longula, waterhyacinth,
Systena nitentula, alligator weed,