Start Date: Sep 01, 2008
End Date: Aug 31, 2013
• Focus searches on warmer semi-arid areas that match target climates in Australia. • Collect young living plants of P. aculeata for growing at the Hurlingham laboratory. • Transport living geometrid specimen to the Hurlingham laboratory. • Rear the specimens to adult. • Initiate a lab colony on the living plants of P. aculeata. • Collect data on life cycle and basic biology. • Compile a list of related species that could be collected as young plants and grown in pots in the lab for host specificity testing. • Collect and grow these plants. • Conduct host specificity tests. Use no-choice test design. Attempt to obtain mating and oviposition on test plant species and P. aculeata control and record larval development. • If direct oviposition on plants is not possible, transfer eggs onto leaves of various species and record larval development. • Variations to host testing to be discussed with Dr Tim Heard. • While collecting geometrids, collect, preserve and label other insect herbivores. • If geometrids cannot be found, transfer effort into the survey of other herbivorous species. • If any other species appear promising, attempt rearing and specificity testing within the possibility of the available resources. • Keep herbarium specimens of plants from all sites visited. • Keep data sheets of characteristics of sites visited. • If appropriate, collect geometrids from neighbouring legumes when populations found on P. aculeata.