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Research Project: BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF TICKS OF VETERINARY AND HUMAN IMPORTANCE

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Title: Acrapex azumai Sugi (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) as a possible biological control agent of the invasive weed Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv. (Poaceae) in the United States

Author
item Takasu, K - Kyushu University
item Yoshiyasu, Y - Kyushu University
item Burrell,, A - Texas A&M University
item Klein, Patricia - Texas A&M University
item Racelis, Alexis - The University Of Texas-Pan American
item Goolsby, John
item Overholt, William - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Lepidoptera Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2014
Publication Date: 7/2/2014
Citation: Takasu, K., Yoshiyasu, Y., Burrell,, A.M., Klein, P., Racelis, A.E., Goolsby, J., Overholt, W.A. 2014. Acrapex azumai Sugi (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) as a possible biological control agent of the invasive weed Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv. (Poaceae) in the United States. Lepidoptera Science. 65(1):30-35.

Interpretive Summary: Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica, is invasive to the southeastern USA and native to Asia including Japan. A team of U.S. and Japanese scientists surveyed the insect herbivores of cogongrass in Japan to determine if their were specialist species that could be considered as biological control agents where the grass is invasive in the U.S. One of the insects collected, a stem boring moth, Acapex azumai, shows promise as a potential biological control agent. The specimens were DNA fingerprinted and they are closely related to other Acapex species. Although this species of moth was known to Japanese scientists, its host I. cylindrica was a new discovery. Future research is planned by U.S. and Japanese scientist to evaluate the biology and host range of this insect because of its potential as a biological control agent.

Technical Abstract: Lepidopteran larvae were discovered boring in the basal stems of Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv. (Poaceae) in Itoshima city, Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan. Adults reared from these larvae were identified as Acrapex azumai Sugi (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Sequencing of the CO1 (cytochrome oxidase 1) gene revealed significant similarity to other Acrapex spp., for which comparative sequence data is available. This is the first host record for A. azumai.