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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: Biology and host range of Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis; a potential biological control agent for Chinese tallow Triadica sebifera

Authors
item Steininger, Mindi
item Wright, Susan
item Ding, J -
item Wheeler, Gregory

Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 17, 2013
Publication Date: May 2, 2013
Repository URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09583157.2013.797564#tabModule
Citation: Steininger, M.S., Wright, S.A., Ding, J., Wheeler, G.S. 2013. Biology and host range of Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis; a potential biological control agent for Chinese tallow Triadica sebifera. Biocontrol Science and Technology. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09583157.2013.797564#tabModule.

Interpretive Summary: The weed, Chinese tallow, Triadica sebifera, is a weed of coastal prairies and forests in the southeastern US. Current management tactics, such as chemical and mechanical controls, are not sustainable solutions considering that Chinese tallow grows rapidly and produces a large number of seeds annually. Biological control may be a permanent and cost-effective alternative means of Chinese tallow suppression. Surveys conducted in China discovered a promising weevil, Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis that is being considered for biological control of this invasive weed. Results are presented that show the adults of this insect fed on valued plants and some larval development occurred on a Florida endangered species. These data indicate that several native plants may be used by this insect for feeding if it was released therefore testing was discontinued and the quarantine colony was destroyed.

Technical Abstract: Chinese tallow, Triadica sebifera, is an invasive weed that infests natural and agricultural areas of the southeastern USA. A candidate for biological control of Chinese tallow has been studied under quarantine conditions. The biology and host range of a primitive leaf feeding beetle, Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis, was examined between July 2008 and February 2010. Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis adults fed on 16 of 29 non-target species and survived >10 days on all 29 species, more than the number of days that adults survive when deprived of food. Additionally, adult feeding and partial larval development occurred on a Florida endangered species, Heterosavia bahamensis. These data indicate that the physiological host range of H. bicallosicollis may not be limited to the target weed and includes several valued North American natives. Therefore as its release could pose unacceptable risks, testing of this species was discontinued and the quarantine colony was destroyed.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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