Submitted to: Government Publication/Report
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: December 17, 2004
Publication Date: December 17, 2004
Citation: Smith, L. 2004. Proposed field release of the blister mite, aceria salsolae (acari: eriophyoidea)from Greece, for biological control of Russian thistle (salsola tragus l.) in the United States. TAG Petition No. 04-06. 60 p. Technical Abstract: Russian thistle (tumbleweed) is an important invasive alien weed in the western U.S. It is a principal weed in dryland agriculture, and tumbling plant skeletons disrupt automobile traffic, clog irrigation systems, pile up against fences and buildings, and can rapidly spread wild fires. The weed also harbors important insect pests of many high value crops during fall in California's Central Valley. The mite Aceria salsolae, from Greece, has been evaluated in quarantine experiments to determine its safety and potential efficacy as a biological control agent. This petition reviews everything known about the mite's biology, ecology and behavior, and assesses the risk and benefit of introducing the mite. It concludes that the mite has a high likelihood of reducing the negative impacts caused by Russian thistle and will cause no environmental harm.