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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Six step process for identifying, testing, releasing, and managing biological control agents:

  1. Recognize that an exotic species is, or may become, an invasive threat.
  2. Conduct exploratory surveys for potential biological control agents in the invasive plant’s native range.
  3. Screen the most promising agents for host specificity (that is, ecological safety).
  4. Apply for permission to release the biological control agent.
  5. Establish self-perpetuating populations of safe biological control agents.
  6. Develop management strategies to enhance efficacy of naturalized biological control agents.

Biological control agents for selected invasive plant species.

Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligatorweed):

Agasicles hygrophila

Amynothrips andersoni


Arcola malloi


Pistia stratiotes (Waterlettuce):

Neohydronomus affinis

Spodoptera pectinicornis


Hydrilla verticillata (Hydrilla):

Bagous affinis


Bagous hydrillae


Hydrellia pakistanae

Hydrellia balciunasi


Melaleuca quinquenervia (Paperbark tree):

Oxyops vitiosa

Boreioglycaspis melaleucae


Fergusonina turneri 


Salvinia molesta (Giant water fern):

Cyrtobagous salviniae

Eichhornia crassipes (Waterhyacinth):

Neochetina eichhorniae

Neochetina bruchi


Niphograpta albiguttalis


Lygodium microphyllum (Old-world climbing fern):

Cataclysta camptozonale (released 1st qtr, 2005)

Renamed Austromusotima camptozonale

Last Modified: 3/31/2006
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