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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Lauderdale, Florida » Invasive Plant Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #437461

Research Project: Development, Rearing, Release and Monitoring of Biological Control Agents Targeting Old World Climbing Fern

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6032-22000-013-66-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2022

Objective:
1. Rear and release large numbers of the leaf-feeding moth Neomusotima conspurcatalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) and the leaflet galling mite Floracarus perrepae (Acariformes: Eriophyidae) for Lygodium microphyllum biological control within the Southwest Florida Water Management District. 2. Monitor the status of biological control agent releases. 3. Develop new biological control agents for Lygodium microphyllum including Lygomusotima stria (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), Neostrombocerus albicomus (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) and/or Callopistria exotica (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

Approach:
Releases of Neomusotima conspurcatalis, Floracarus perrepae, and other approved Lygodium microphyllum biological control agents (if available) will be conducted within the Southwest Florida Water Management District. These sites will be monitored several times per year to determine agent establishment, overwintering success, and impact on the target weed. Quarantine host-range tests will be conducted to further development of candidate biological control agents for Lygodium microphyllum.