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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Lauderdale, Florida » Invasive Plant Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #439179

Research Project: Quarantine Testing to Develop Biological Control of Old World Climbing Fern, Lygodium microphyllum, in Florida

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6032-22000-013-75-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 30, 2021

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

Approach:
Multigeneration testing of the sawfly Neostrombocerus albicomus will be conducted by caging adult sawflies on Lygodium microphyllum and Lygodium congeners and monitoring oviposition, development, and persistence over several generations. Multigeneration tests will be conducted with Lygomusotima stria for both invasive Lygodium species (Lygodium microphyllum and Lygodium japonicum) in addition to the US native Lygodium palmatum. Other host range testing will be completed on Lygomusotima stria as needed. Host range testing will be continued with Callopistria exotica, including additional tests with congeners of Lygodium species.