|earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis)|
Earleaf acacia, Acacia auriculiformis, is an invasive tree from northern Australia. In Florida, earleaf acacia invades disturbed areas on the edges of Everglades ecosystems, frequently exploiting land that was previously invaded by melaleuca, another invasive Australian tree. Efforts to find biological control candidates for earleaf acacia began in 2016 and in 2019, Calomela intemerata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) was imported into the USDA Invasive Plant Research Laboratory’s quarantine to undergo host range testing. The research on C. intemerata marks the beginning of several potential biological control projects for this target plant and is a cooperative effort with USDA’s Australian Biological Control Laboratory and the University of Florida.
Picture of earleaf acacia growing on the IFAS campus in Davie, Florida. (Photo: by E. Pokorny)
Calomela intemerata, the biological control agent for earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis) is currently being tested in Quarantine.
Calomela intemerata adult
Calomela interata larvae
Photo: P. Clark