Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 22, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Bull-nettle, silver horse-nettle, white-horse-nettle, silverleaf nightshade, trompillo, and satansbos are all common names for the noxious weed, Solanum elaeagnifolium. Native to the New World tropics, this species has been introduced accidentally into North America, Australia, and southern Africa, where it is an economically important pest in rangelands. Through investigations of insects that attack this weed, personnel of the Plant Protection Research Institute, Pretoria, South Africa, reared specimens of an unknown moth species in the genus Frumenta from Mexico. The purposes of this paper are to name the new species, speculate on its host range, and discuss its potential as a biological control agent against this weed. This information will be valuable to those involved in rangeland ecology, cattle and other livestock grazing, and the biological control of invasive weeds.
Technical Abstract: Frumenta solanophagus, new species, is described from San Luis Protosi, Mexico. It was reared from Solanum elaeagnifolium Cavanilles (Solanaceae) by personnel of the Plant Protection Research Institute, Pretoria, South Africa, as part of a survey for potential biocontrol agents against this invasive weed. Frumenta previously included two species from the mid- western and southern United States; all species appear to feed exclusively on Solanum. Photographs and illustrations of F. solanophagus depict the imago, wing venation, intersegmental lobes of the female, and male and female genitalia. A key to the described species of Frumenta also is provided.