, Volume 656, Issue 1, pp 149-158
Date: 13 Sep 2010

Natural enemies from South Africa for biological control of Lagarosiphon major (Ridl.) Moss ex Wager (Hydrocharitaceae) in Europe

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The non-native invasive plant, Lagarosiphon major (Hydrocharitaceae) is a submersed aquatic macrophyte that poses a significant threat to water bodies in Europe. Dense infestations prove difficult to manage using traditional methods. In order to initiate a biocontrol programme, a survey for natural enemies of Lagarosiphon was conducted in South Africa. Several phytophagous species were recorded for the first time, with at least three showing notable promise as candidate agents. Amongst these, a leaf-mining fly, Hydrellia sp. (Ephydridae) that occurred over a wide distribution causes significant leaf damage despite high levels of parasitism by braconid wasps. Another yet unidentified fly was recorded mining the stem of L. major. Two leaf-feeding and shoot boring weevils, cf. Bagous sp. (Curculionidae) were recorded damaging the shoot tips and stunting the growth of the stem. Several leaf-feeding lepidopteran species (Nymphulinae) were frequently recorded, but are expected to feed on a wide range of plant species and are not considered for importation before other candidates are assessed. The discovery of several natural enemies in the country of origin improves the biological control prospects of L. major in Europe.

Guest editors: A. Pieterse, S. Hellsten, J. Newman, J. Caffrey, F. Ecke, T. Ferreira, B. Gopal, J. Haury, G. Janauer, T. Kairesalo, A. Kanninen, K. Karttunen, J. Sarvala, K. Szoszkiewicz, H. Toivonen, L. Triest, P. Uotila, N. Willby / Aquatic Invasions and Relation to Environmental Changes: Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Aquatic Weeds, European Weed Research Society