|PURCEL, MATTHEW - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)|
|MAKINSON, JEFF - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)|
Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/6/2016
Publication Date: 9/15/2017
Citation: Pratt, P.D., Rayamajhi, M.B., Purcel, M., Makinson, J. 2017. The suitability of select ferns as hosts for Archips machlopis (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Florida Entomologist. 99(3):572-573.
Interpretive Summary: The invasive climbing fern, also known as lygodium, disrupts natural areas in southern Florida. One method of controlling this weed is by employing insects to attack and suppress the plant’s growth. Insect surveys for natural enemies of the invasive weed were conducted in Thailand and resulted in the collection of a moth: Archips machlopis. Multiple generations of the moth were reared on lygodium under laboratory conditions, demonstrating that the plant is a developmental host. Further testing of the insect’s ability to feed on other fern species indicated that the moth is able to complete development on 12 of the 15 fern species tested, confirming that the insect is a broad generalist and not appropriate as a control agent in Florida.
Technical Abstract: Surveys for natural enemies of invasive weed Lygodium microphyllum in Thailand resulted in the collection of lepidopteran Archips machlopis. Multiple generations of the tortricid were reared on L. microphyllum in a quarantine laboratory, demonstrating that the plant is a developmental host. Further host specificity testing indicated that A. machlopis is able to complete development on 12 of the 15 fern species tested, confirming that the polyphagous herbivore’s diet includes Pteridophyta.