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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HOST RANGE TESTING-AUSTRALIAN QUARANTINE OF POTENTIAL INSECT AGENTS FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF OLD WORLD CLIMBING FERN(LYGODIUM MICROPHYLLUM)

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6629-22000-011-45
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Jun 19, 2012
End Date: Jun 02, 2013

Objective:
1. Problems with the rearing of the lygodium stem-boring moths (Ambia sp.) must be resolved so that a quarantine colony can be established and host range testing can be started on this important group of candidate biocontrol agents. 2. Develop mass rearing techniques for Ambia sp., should it prove to be a safe and effective biocontrol agent. 3. The foliage-feeding moth, Austromusotima camptozonale, will be collected as needed in south-east Queensland, Australia and shipped to USDA-ARS Fort Lauderdale to supplement ongoing field releases of this moth in Florida. 4. Surveys of herbivores will be conducted in North Queensland (and the Northern Territory if possible) to determine the presence of stem-borers on L. microphyllum genotypes that match those found in Florida.

Approach:
1. To facilitate synchronization of male and female adults in quarantine for mating, oviposition and colony establishment, large numbers of immatures will be imported into Australian Biological Control Laboratory (ABCL) quarantine following intensive collections by staff based continuously in Hong Kong for at least a one month period. 2. Analyses linking distribution records of this species to habitat characteristics and weather information at the time of collection are being used to identify optimal quarantine rearing protocols for Ambia. Rearing protocols are being developed to mimic the immediate growing environment (larvae complete development in the narrow stems of Lygodium, and pupate in the soil) of the species. 3. The foliage-feeding moth, Austromusotima camptozonale, will be collected as needed in south-east Queensland, Australia and shipped to USDA-ARS Fort Lauderdale to supplement ongoing field releases of this moth in Florida. 4. Conduct surveys of herbivores will be conducted in North Queensland (and the Northern Territory if possible).

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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