|RICHERSON JIM V|
Submitted to: Population Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Tarbush, Flourensia cernua (Compositae), is an undesirable shrub of rangelands in western Texas, New Mexico and eastern Arizona. It uses valuable water, out-competes desirable grasses and is toxic to livestock. We studied the insects that fed on tarbush to determine if they were able to damage the plant or restrict its growth. Tarbush was host for 70 species of insects. None of these insects appeared to damage tarbush although a tiny, sap-sucking bug called a psyllid, Kuwayama medicaginis, caused about 7% of the leaves to curl when present in large numbers.
Technical Abstract: Phytophagous insects representing seven orders, 26 families, and 70 species, 28% of which are common on other rangeland plants, fed on tarbush, Flourensia cernua DC. (Asteraceae). About 6% of the species were oligophagous and less than 1% were specific or preferred tarbush. None of the phytophages substantially damaged F. cernua. The psyllid Kuwayama medicaginis Crawford caused moderate leaf curling in ca. 7% of the leaves in early spring months.