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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT & EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR INVASIVE SPECIES THREATENING THE EVERGLADES & OTHER NATURAL AND MANANGED SYSTEMS

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Title: Foreign exploration and host testing of Chinese tallow

Authors
item Wheeler, Gregory
item Ding, J -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 14, 2009
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Repository URL: http://www.insectscience.org/10.166/abstract102.html
Citation: Wheeler, G.S., Ding, J. 2010. Foreign exploration and host testing of Chinese tallow. Meeting Abstract. Vol. 10, Article 166.

Interpretive Summary: Chinese tallow is among the worst environmental weeds in Florida and other areas of the US. This species occupies diverse habitats causing many environmental problems including decreased biodiversity of the infested areas. Although chemical controls are known and used to control this invasive species, biological control presents an attractive alternative when practiced safely. This weed comes from China. The USDA/ARS Invasive Plant lab and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Science have been searching for insects that will be safe and effective at controlling this weed in the US. By conducting monthly surveys many new insects are being found in China. These include new weevils, beetles, and caterpillar species. Several of these species are undergoing testing to determine suitability and safety for release in the US. Progress will be presented describing the potential of these insects as biological control agents.

Technical Abstract: Chinese tallow is among the worst environmental weeds in Florida and other areas of the southeastern US. This species occupies diverse habitats causing many environmental problems including decreased biodiversity of the infested areas. Although chemical controls are known and used to control this invasive species, biological control presents an attractive alternative when practiced safely. The native range of this species primarily includes central and southern China. The USDA/ARS Invasive Plant lab, colleagues at the Australian biological control lab, and the Chinese Academy of Science have been conducting foreign surveys searching for insects that will be safe and effective at controlling Chinese tallow in the US. Surveys have revealed many new herbivores throughout the native range of these species. These include many new weevil, thrips, psyllid, eriophyid mites and lepidopteran species. Several of these species are, or have undergone preliminary testing to determine suitability for release here. Progress will be presented describing the potential of these herbivore species as potential biological control agents.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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