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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 #356106

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

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Title: Abrostola asclepiadis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) will likely be an ineffective agent due to its impact and diapause traits

item Milbrath, Lindsey
item Biazzo, Jeromy
item DOLGOVSKAYA, MARGARITA - Zoological Institute
item VOLKOVITSH, MARK - Zoological Institute
item SFORZA, RENE - European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)

Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2018
Publication Date: 8/23/2019
Citation: Milbrath, L.R., Biazzo, J., Dolgovskaya, M., Volkovitsh, M., Sforza, R. 2019. Abrostola asclepiadis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) will likely be an ineffective agent due to its impact and diapause traits. International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. 15:24.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Pale and black swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum rossicum and V. nigrum; Apocynaceae, subfamily Asclepiadoideae) are long-lived perennial vines that were introduced from Europe into North America. A 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 reportedly has one to two generations per summer. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify the impact of larval defoliation on seedlings and adult plants at different frequencies (once or twice) and degrees of defoliation (50 or 100%-seedlings, 1 or 2 larvae/stem-adult plants). We assessed Russian and French populations of the moth for their potential multivoltinism under constant and changing photoperiods ranging from 13:11 to 16:8 hr (L:D) at 20 or 25C, and we reared the French population outdoors for two years. The various photoperiod treatments are representative of spring and summer photoperiods in northeastern North America. Complete defoliation (100%), and especially repeated defoliation (twice), was needed to significantly reduce plant biomass and seed production. However, for the different photoperiod treatments, no to very few adult moths emerged with few exceptions. We therefore expect A. asclepiadis to be univoltine if released, thus greatly limiting its impact. Incorporation of impact data into plant population models suggest that the majority of swallow-wort populations will not be controlled by this agent.