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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #330176

Research Project: Evaluation of Biological Control for Invasive Weeds of the Northeastern United States

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Title: Diapause in Abrostola asclepiadis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) may make for an ineffective weed biological control agent

item Milbrath, Lindsey
item Biazzo, Jeromy

Submitted to: International Congress of Entomology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2016
Publication Date: 8/15/2016
Citation: Milbrath, L.R., Biazzo, J. 2016. Diapause in Abrostola asclepiadis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) may make for an ineffective weed biological control agent. International Congress of Entomology. No. D3458 (

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Pale and black swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum rossicum and V. nigrum; Apocynaceae, subfamily Asclepiadoideae) are perennial vines from Europe that are invasive in various terrestrial habitats in the northeastern USA and southeastern Canada. A classical weed biological control program has been in development. One potential biological control agent is the defoliating moth Abrostola asclepiadis (Denis and Schiffermüller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). It is widely distributed in Europe in open field to forest edge habitats and is reported to have one-two generations per season. The diapausing stage is the pupa. We assessed Russian and French populations of the moth for their potential voltinism under constant and changing photoperiods ranging from 14:10 to 16:8 hr (L:D) at 20C, photoperiods they would experience in the Northeast. For all photoperiod treatments, no to very few adult moths (in a few cases) emerged. Both populations therefore appear to be univoltine. Previous impact data combined with plant population models suggest that a single defoliation event, which this moth would likely cause, will cause population declines in only a limited number of forest and field infestations of swallow-wort. Most swallow-wort populations in open fields are not projected to be controlled by this potential agent.