Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2004
Publication Date: 8/1/2004
Citation: Colpetzer, Keith E., Judith A. Hough-Goldstein, and Michael T. Smith. 2004. Feeding and oviposition behavior of Rhinocomimus latipes Korotyaev (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and its predicted effectiveness as a biological control agent for Polygonum perfoliatum L. Environ. Entomol. 33(4): 990-996. Interpretive Summary: Mile-a-minute (MAM) is an annual weed indigenous to temperate regions of China, Japan, and Korea. Since it was introduced into North America during the 1930s at a nursery in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, it has spread to Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. It has been listed as a noxious weed in 35 states because it displaces native vegetation and restricts the movements of native wildlife. The rapid spread and detrimental effects of MAM in North America prompted the USDA Forest Service to initiate a classical biological control program in 1996. A weevil native to China has been identified as a candidate biological control agent against MAM. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if the adult weevil preferentially feeds and oviposits on particular tissues of MAM, which will ensure the proper evaluation of host specificity and may be indicative of the effectiveness of biological control agents in suppressing target pest populations. In this study, male and female H. chinensis were exposed to flowering P. perfoliatum stems for 2 months, and feeding and oviposition on different plant parts was quantified. Results showed that female and male weevils preferentially fed and oviposited on different plant parts of MAM, with females on the capitula and males on the ocreae and leaves. Most importantly, the feeding and ovipostition preferences of female weevils may reduce MAM seed production and make this insect a highly effective biological control agent.
Technical Abstract: Feeding and oviposition preferences of Homorosoma chinensis Wagner on different parts of its native host, mile-a-minute, Polygonum perfoliatum L., were studied under laboratory conditions as part of an evaluation of the weevil's biological control potential. Female H. chinensis preferentially fed and oviposited on P. perfoliatum capitula, while male H. chinensis preferentially fed on P. perfoliatum ocreae and leaves. The feeding and ovipostition preferences of female H. chinensis may reduce P. perfoliatum seed production and make this insect an effective biological control agent.