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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Preliminary Screening of New Natural Enemies of Yellow Starthistle, Centaurea Solstitialis L. (Asteraceae) in Eastern Anatolia

Authors
item Cristofaro, Massimo - ENEA C.R. CASACCIA
item Hayat, Rustem - ATATURK UNIVERSITY
item Gultekin, Levent - ATATURK UNIVERSITY
item Tozlu, Goksel - ATATURK UNIVERSITY
item Zengin, Huseyin - ATATURK UNIVERSITY
item Tronci, Carlo - BIOTECH & BIOCON AGCY
item Lecce, Francesca - BIOTECH & BIOCON AGCY
item Sahin, Fikrettin - ATATURK UNIVERSITY
item Smith, Lincoln

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2002
Publication Date: September 4, 2002
Citation: Cristofaro, M., Hayat, R., Gultekin, L., Tozlu, G., Zengin, H., Tronci, C., Lecce, F., Sahin, F., Smith, L. 2002. Preliminary screening of new natural enemies of yellow starthistle, centaurea solstitialis l. (asteraceae) in eastern anatolia.. Meeting Proceedings.

Interpretive Summary: Yellow starthistle is an alien weed that has invaded about 20 million acres in the western U.S. It is especially abundant in Pacific western states. The spiny plant interferes with grazing livestock and outdoors recreation, it is fatally poisonous to horses, and it outcompetes desirable vegetation. Six species of insects have been introduced as biological control agents, but they are not providing sufficient control. Foreign exploration in Turkey, the center of origin of the plant, was conducted to discover and begin evaluating new prospective biological control agents. The beetles, Ceratapion basicorne, Psylliodes sp. nr. chalcomera, and Larinus filiformis were the most promising insects found. Previous laboratory experiments showed that C. basicorne can sometimes develop on safflower. Results from a field experiment conducted in eastern Turkey indicate that C. basicorne does not normally attach safflower.

Technical Abstract: We conducted a survey of insects attacking yellow starthistle at more than 30 locations in central and eastern Turkey in 2001. Of all the insects collected, the most important were 7 species attacking flower heads: Terellia uncinata, Urophora quadrifasciata, Urophora affinis, Acanthiophilus helianthi, Urophora sirunaseva, Chaaetorellia succinea, Chaetorellia australis, Larinus filiformis, and 6 species attacking the leaves stems and roots: Ceratapion basicorne, Ceratapion onopordi, Lixus scolopax, Psylliodes sp nr. chalcomera, Tingis sp., and an eriophiid mite (probably Aceria sp.). We conducted a field experiment in eastern Turkey to determine if C. basicorne would attack safflower in the field. No safflower plants were infested despite infestation of 86 to 100% of nearby yellow starthistle plants. This indicates that C. basicorne does not attack safflower under natural field conditions and that its introduction would not pose a risk to this crop.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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