Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory
Project Number: 6032-22000-012-47-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Jun 30, 2019
1. Determine biology and preliminary host specificity of Calomela beetle populations and the possibility for hybrid beetle viability. 2. Definitively identify Calomela spp. and Trichologaster spp. 3. Send researchers from the U.S. to conduct biological studies in the native range. Researchers will also collect insects from field sites and from the cleared colonies at Australian Biological Control Laboratory (ABCL). 4. Ship, curate and colonize Calomela spp. and Trichologaster from foreign surveys at ABCL, Australia, Invasive Plant Research Lab (IPRL), Fort Lauderdale, and University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Indian River Research and Education Center (UF-IFAS IRREC), Fort Pierce. 5. Continue host-range examinations at USDA-ARS IRPL and UF-IFAS IRREC.
All potential agents will be shipped into permitted quarantine facilities. Due to the potential immediate need for better control for this species, we are approaching this candidate plant with a plan to test agents at the USDA-ARS Invasive Plant Research Lab (IPRL) facility and the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Indian River Research and Education Center (UF-IFAS IRREC) facility. This will safeguard against colony collapse and may facilitate a more efficient testing process due to the increased host-range testing required for compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.