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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Lauderdale, Florida » Invasive Plant Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #434133

Research Project: Quarantine Testing to Develop Biological Control of Old World climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum in FL

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6032-22000-012-46-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Jun 30, 2019

Objective:
To conduct host-range tests on candidate biological control agents of Lygodium microphyllum, Old World climbing fern. 1: Colonize new collections of Lygodium stem borers to begin host-range testing and determine suitability for biological control. 2: Complete multi-generational host-specificity testing with Lygodium congeners for the sawfly Neostrombocerus albicomus. 3: Complete the suite of host-specificity trials on Lygomusotima stria in addition to the temperature tolerance studies. Objective 4: Initiate host-range testing with Callopistria sp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

Approach:
Stem borers will be collected in the native range and shipped to the Invasive Plant Research Lab (IPRL) quarantine where efforts will be made to establish a colony. Stem borer larvae will be transferred to non-target Lygodium species to determine their host-range. Multi-generational testing of the sawfly Neostrombocerus albicomus will be conducted by caging adult sawflies on Lygodium microphyllum and Lygodium congeners and monitoring oviposition and persistence over several generations. Multi-generational tests will be conducted with Lygomusotima stria for both invasive Lygodium species (Lygodium microphyllum and Lygodium japonicum) in addition to the U.S. native Lygodium palmatum. No-choice testing will continue with Lygomusotima stria and additional cold tolerance tests will be conducted as needed. Host-range testing will be initiated with the newly colonized Callopistria sp., starting with congeners of Lygodium species.