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Research Project: Innovative Technologies to Control Invasive Species that Impact Livestock

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Title: Potential biological control agents for management of cogongrass (Cyperales: Poaceae) in the southeastern USA

item OVERHOLT, WILLIAM - University Of Florida
item HIDAYAT, PURNAMA - Bogor Agricultural University
item LE RU, BRUNO - Unite De Recherches Sur Les Especes Fruitieres
item TAKASU, KEIJI - Kyushu University
item Goolsby, John
item RACELIS, ALEX - University Of Texas Rio Grande Valley
item BURRELL, MILLIE - Texas A&M University
item AMALIN, DIVINA - De La Salle University
item AGUM, WINNIFRED - National Agricultural Research Organization - Uganda
item NJAKU, MOHAMED - Plant Health Services - Tanzania
item PALLANGYO, BEATRICE - Plant Health Services - Tanzania
item KLEIN, PATRICIA - Texas A&M University
item CUDA, JAMES - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/30/2016
Publication Date: 12/1/2016
Citation: Overholt, W.A., Hidayat, P., Le Ru, B., Takasu, K., Goolsby, J., Racelis, A., Burrell, M., Amalin, D., Agum, W., Njaku, M., Pallangyo, B., Klein, P.E., Cuda, J. 2016. Potential biological control agents for management of cogongrass (Cyperales: Poaceae) in the southeastern USA. Florida Entomologist. 99(4):734-739.

Interpretive Summary: Imperata cylindrica (cogongrass) is an invasive grass that is a noxious weed in 73 countries and constitutes a significant threat to global biodiversity and sustainable agriculture, especially in the south-eastern United States. It is a native grass in many parts of the native and invaded range of cattle fever ticks in Asia and Africa. Comparative field studies were conducted in East Africa and Asia to determine if the diversity of insects feeding on cogongrass was higher where genetic diversity of the grass was highest and therefore presumed to have existed for the longest period of time. Specialist stem-boring insects were found in both Asia and Africa, but overall insect diversity was highest in Africa.

Technical Abstract: Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (L.) Palisot de Beauvois (Cyperales: Poaceae), is a noxious invasive weed in the southeastern USA. Surveys for potential biological control agents of cogongrass were conducted in Asia and East Africa from 2013 to 2016. Several insect herbivores were found that may have restricted host ranges based on field collection data and life histories. Stemborers in the genus Acrapex (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) were collected from cogongrass in Tanzania, Uganda and Japan. In the Philippines, larvae of Emmalocera sp. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), and Chilo sp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) were found boring in cogongrass. Cecidomyiid midges were found in both Japan and Indonesia. A Japanese midge identified as a Contarinia sp. (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), caused deformation of the stem, whereas the Indonesian midge, Orseolia javanica Kieffer & van Leeuwen-Reijinvaan (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), induced the formation of a basal stem gall. Previous research suggested that the host range of O. javanica was restricted to cogongrass.