Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory
Project Number: 6032-22000-011-59-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Oct 22, 2013
End Date: May 6, 2014
1. Receive and catalog all herbivores shipped from foreign surveys. 2. Initiate colonies of select species, including the Rhodomyrtus stem borer. 3. Conduct preliminary host range tests for colonized species.
Host range testing methods will be conducted with approved protocols established by the weed biological control community (McFadyen 1998). The host range of prospective agents will be determined when forced to feed, complete development, and reproduce on different test plant species. Assays will include no-choice, free-choice, larval transfer, and adult oviposition designs to examine behavioral responses to beneficial plants. Testing will be done under controlled environments in permitted quarantine facilities. No-choice methods are generally done with whole plants but the use of leaf bouquets can be effective especially in preliminary screenings. Care will be taken to test only healthy individuals on fresh plant material in healthy condition. Data collected from replicated tests may include the amount of plant material consumed, the number of feeding or oviposition marks, the number of eggs laid, stage specific mortality or survival, growth rates, development times, and fecundity of resulting adults.