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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Invasive Species and Pollinator Health » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358078

Research Project: Management of Invasive Weeds in Rangeland, Forest and Riparian Ecosystems in the Far Western U.S. Using Biological Control

Location: Invasive Species and Pollinator Health

Title: The influence of plant size on attack rates of Oxyops vitiosa, an introduced herbivore of Melaleuca quinquenervia

Author
item Tofangazi, Nastaran - University Of California, Davis
item Pratt, Paul
item Rayamajhi, Min
item Tipping, Philip

Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2019
Publication Date: 1/31/2019
Citation: Tofangazi, N., Pratt, P.D., Rayamajhi, M.B., Tipping, P.W. 2019. The influence of plant size on attack rates of Oxyops vitiosa, an introduced herbivore of Melaleuca quinquenervia. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 29(6):610-613. https://doi.org/10.1080/09583157.2019.1573416.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09583157.2019.1573416

Interpretive Summary: Melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia) is an invasive tree, native to Australia but a major weed in Florida and elsewhere in the Carribean. The weevil Oxyops vitiosa was introduced from Australia to Florida in 1997 as a biological control agent of the invasive Melaleuca tree. Three years after release, the weevil’s dispersal into stands of Melaleuca trees was monitored to determine if the weevil preferentially selects larger trees during patch colonization. Data indicates that tree size does not influence the likelihood of attack by the weevil and smaller individuals within host patches did not escape attack. These data suggest that small and large trees are equally preferred for attack by the insect, which is good news as it was feared that smaller trees might escape detection by the weevils.

Technical Abstract: Oxyops vitiosa Pascoe (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) was released in Florida in 1997 as a biological control agent of the invasive tree Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T. Blake. Three years after release, the weevil’s dispersal into three replicated M. quinquenervia stands was monitored to determine if O. vitiosa preferentially selects larger trees during patch colonization. Data indicated that tree size did not influence the likelihood of attack by O. vitiosa and smaller individuals within host patches did not escape herbivory through enemy free space.