Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/6/2011
Publication Date: 9/20/2011
Citation: Goolsby, J., Kirk, A.A., Moran, P.J., Racelis, A.E., Adamczyk Jr, J.J., Cortes, E.C., Garcia, M.M., Jimenez, M.M., Summy, K.R., Ciomperlik, M.A., Sands, D.P. 2011. Establishment of the armored scale, Rhizaspidiotus donacis, a biological control agent of Arundo donax. Southwestern Entomologist. 36(3):373-374. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The armored scale biological control agent, Rhizaspidiotus donacis (Leonardi) (Hemiptera; Diaspididae) has established populations on the invasive weed, Arundo donax L. (Poaceae; Arundinoideae) in Del Rio (Val Verde, Co.) and in field plots at the USDA-APHIS-PPQ-Moore Airbase, Edinburg (Hidalgo Co.) TX. Rhizaspidiotus donacis was found to be host specific to Arundo and was permitted for release in the U.S. and Mexico where A. donax is invasive and is consuming economically-significant amounts of water, among many other detrimental effects. Its life cycle takes between 4.5 and 6 months at 27°C. The arundo scale was found to have a significant impact on A. donax in Mediterranean Europe. Populations of R. donacis, also known as the arundo scale, were originally collected from A. donax in Rivesaltes on the Roboul River near Peripignan in southeastern France, and from Villafranqueza on the Rio Seco near Alicante on the southeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain. These results, although preliminary, indicate the first use of a diaspidid scale for biological control of an invasive weed and the first record of establishment of R. donacis in North America.