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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Waterlettuce

Author
item Dray, F Allen

Submitted to: Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the United States
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 7, 2002
Publication Date: November 1, 2004
Citation: Dray Jr, F.A. 2004. WATERLETTUCE. Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the United States. 65-78 (Book Chapter) 2004.

Interpretive Summary: Waterlettuce is an invasive floating plant that infests waterways in the southeastern United States. Historically, it is found in U.S. flora prior to the Pleistocene, but appears to have been exterminated during the glacial periods. It was re-introduced into Florida with early European colonists, probably in the ballast of ships stopping on their way between South America and Spain. Two insects have been released in Florida as biological controls of this weed: a South American weevil in 1987 and an Asian moth in 1991. The weevil established persistent populations and has caused dramatic declines at some sites. Populations of the moth failed to persist in Florida.

Technical Abstract: Waterlettuce is an invasive floating plant that infests waterways in the southeastern United States. Historically, it is found in U.S. flora prior to the Pleistocene, but appears to have been exterminated during the glacial periods. It was re-introduced into Florida with early European colonists, probably in the ballast of ships stopping on their way between South America and Spain. Two insects have been released in Florida as biological controls of this weed: a South American weevil in 1987 and an Asian moth in 1991. The weevil established persistent populations and has caused dramatic declines at some sites. Populations of the moth failed to persist in Florida.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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