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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SOUTH AMERICAN BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS TO SUPPRESS INVASIVE PESTS IN THE U.S. Title: Natural enemies of balloon vine, Cardiospermum grandiflorum Swartz (Sapindaceae), in Argentina and their potential use as biological control agents in South Africa

Authors
item Mc Kay, Fernando -
item Oleiro, Marina -
item Fourie, Andrie -
item Simelane, David -

Submitted to: International Journal of Tropical Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2010
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Citation: Mc Kay, F., Oleiro, M., Fourie, A., Simelane, D. 2010. Natural enemies of balloon vine, Cardiospermum grandiflorum Swartz (Sapindaceae), in Argentina and their potential use as biological control agents in South Africa. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science.Vol.30, No. 2,pp.67-76.

Interpretive Summary: Exploratory field surveys of the natural enemies associated with balloon vine (Soapberry family), an environmental weed in South Africa, Australia and other countries, were conducted in northern Argentina from 2005 to 2009, to search for suitable biological control agents. The surveys included other plant species closely related to the weed, permitting an assessment of the distribution and host range of the natural enemies. Seventeen phytophagous insects in 5 orders and 10 families, and 2 fungal pathogens were found. The nature of the potential agents’ damage, their field distribution and abundance and the results of preliminary host-specificity testing indicated that a seed-feeding weevil and a fruit-galling midge were the most promising biological control agents for balloon vine. Rearing methods for both candidates should be improved to facilitate host-specificity testing and impact studies that may ultimately permit their release against balloon vine in South Africa and other countries.

Technical Abstract: Exploratory field surveys of the natural enemies associated with balloon vine, Cardiospermum grandiflorum (Sapindaceae), an environmental weed in South Africa, Australia and other countries, were conducted in northern Argentina from 2005 to 2009, to search for suitable biological control agents. The surveys included other plant species in the genus Cardiospermum and other native Sapindaceae, permitting an assessment of the distribution and host range of the natural enemies. Seventeen phytophagous insects in 5 orders and 10 families, and 2 fungal pathogens were found. The nature of the potential agents’ damage, their field distribution and abundance and the results of preliminary host-specificity testing indicated that the seed-feeding weevil, Cissoanthonomus tuberculipennis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and the fruit-galling midge, Contarinia sp. (Diptera: Cecydomiidae) were the most promising biological control agents for C. grandiflorum. Rearing methods for both candidates should be improved to facilitate host-specificity testing and impact studies that may ultimately permit their release against balloon vine in South Africa and other countries.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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