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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A new species of Dichrorampha (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) from Jamaica: A potential biocontrol agent against Chromolaena odorata (Asterasceae)

item Brown, John
item Zachariades, C.

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/2006
Publication Date: 10/5/2007
Citation: Brown, J.W., Zachariades, C. 2007. A new species of Dichrorampha (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) from Jamaica: A potential biocontrol agent against Chromolaena odorata (Asterasceae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 109:938-947.

Interpretive Summary: The caterpillars of many species of small moths have been shown to provide excellent biological control of invasive weeds by feeding on their flowers or other reproductive parts. This strategy provides an alternative to the use of environmentally-unfriendly herbicides or costly mechanical removal. Triffid or Jack-in-the-bush is an aggressive invasive weed in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Pacific introduced from Central and South America and the Caribbean. It has been nominated as among 100 of the “world's worst” invaders. It spreads rapidly in lands used for forestry, pasture, and plantation crops such as rubber, coffee, coconut, cocoa, and cashew. In South Africa it is a problem for biodiversity conservation, grazing, and forestry. This paper describes and illustrates a new species of small moth that feeds on triffid that appears to have high potential for controlling this weed pest. This information will be important for USDA-ARS scientists involved in the biological control of weeds.

Technical Abstract: Dichrorampha odorata Brown and Zachariades, new species, is described and illustrated from Jamaica. It is most similar to D. sapodilla Heppner among described species, both superficially and in the male genitalia. However, the two are easily separated by the long costal fold of the male forewing of D. odorata, which is absent in D. sapodilla. The shapes of the valva and cucullus also distinguish the two. The related D. azteca Walsingham, revised status, which shares a distinct male forewing costal fold with D. odorata, is returned to Dichrorampha. Dichrorampha odorata induces galls in the shoot tips of the invasive weed Chromolaena odorata (L.) R. M. King & H. Robinson (Asteraceae), commonly known as triffid, Jack in the bush, bitter bush, Christmas bush, and Siam weed. The new species appears to have considerable potential as a biological control agent against this weedy shrub in South Africa.

Last Modified: 06/21/2017
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