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Title: Description and biology of Paectes longiformis Pogue, a new species from Brazil (Lepidoptera: Euteliidae) as a potential biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree in Florida

item MANRIQUE, V. - University Of Florida
item DIAZ, R. - University Of Florida
item OVERHOLT, W. - University Of Florida
item Pogue, Michael
item VITORINO, M. - Universidade Regional De Blumenau(FURB)

Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/14/2011
Publication Date: 2/29/2012
Citation: Manrique, V., Diaz, R., Overholt, W.A., Pogue, M.G., Vitorino, M. 2012. Description and biology of Paectes longiformis Pogue, a new species from Brazil (Lepidoptera: Euteliidae) as a potential biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree in Florida. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 22:163-185.

Interpretive Summary: Owlet moth caterpillars can be used as biological control agents on invasive plants. In this study a new species of owlet moth from Brazil was found to be a potential biological control agent of the Brazilian peppertree, a serious invasive plant in Florida. The biology and description of the adult, caterpillar, and pupa of this new species are presented. This information is essential before the release of this biological control agent can be made. Without naming this new species, it could not be released to control the Brazilian peppertree. This paper will be important to scientists working on the biological control of weeds, systematists, entomologists, and ecologists.

Technical Abstract: Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae), a native weed from South America, has invaded different habitats throughout south and central Florida. In recent surveys of natural enemies conducted in Salvador, Brazil (native range), a new euteliid species in the genus Paectes was found feeding on foliage of Brazilian peppertree. The objectives of this study were to describe the adult, larva, and pupa and to examine the life history parameters of a new species, Paectes longiformis Pogue, a potential biocontrol agent of Brazilian peppertree. Survival and development of immature stages were examined at six constant temperatures (ranging from 16 to 34ºC). All stages of P. longiformis (egg, larva, pupa, adult) were exposed to 0ºC for 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8 d, and lethal times were calculated (Ltime50, Ltime90). Paectes longiformis laid eggs singly on the plant foliage, completed five instars, and stopped feeding as a prepupa before moving to the soil and spinning a cocoon. Complete development occurred at temperatures ranging from 19 to 31ºC, the lower developmental threshold was 11.5ºC, and the degree-days required to complete development from egg to adult was 454. The lethal times at 0ºC (Ltime50 = 1 d, Ltime90 = 6 d) were used to develop isothermal lines to predict areas of establishment in the continental U.S. The predicted distribution includes all of Florida, southern Texas and Arizona, and most of California. Overall, this study provides baseline information about the biology and temperature requirements of Paectes longiformis, a potential biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree.