1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Search for and identify potential biological control agents for swallow-worts (Vincetoxicum spp.). Determine basic biology in field and laboratory of promising insect agents and make preparations for preliminary host range studies.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Field surveys will be conducted in China during the growing season to identify the suite of natural enemies that utilize swallow-worts (Vincetoxicum spp.) as host plants. Insect specimens will be identified and colonies initiated for additional biological studies and future host range tests of insect species that appear promising for biological control.
Four field surveys for insects feeding on swallow-worts have been conducted since July 2011 in Northeast China. More than 17 insect species associated with three species of Chinese swallow-worts were collected. A total of 170 individuals of leaf-feeders, fruit-borers and root feeders (excluding aphids) were found on these plants. Among those insects, a leaf beetle appeared to have a somewhat narrow host range, only feeding on plants in the same plant family as the swallow-worts. Detailed host specificity will be conducted in China; 12 plant species are successfully being cultured for these tests.