Hydrobiologia

, Volume 656, Issue 1, pp 149–158

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

  • J.-R. Baars
  • J. A. Coetzee
  • G. Martin
  • M. P. Hill
  • J. M. Caffrey
AQUATIC WEEDS

DOI: 10.1007/s10750-010-0427-0

Cite this article as:
Baars, JR., Coetzee, J.A., Martin, G. et al. Hydrobiologia (2010) 656: 149. doi:10.1007/s10750-010-0427-0

Abstract

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.

Keywords

HydrelliaBagousLeaf-mining flyPhytophagous organismsClassical biological controlNative surveyIreland

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.-R. Baars
    • 1
  • J. A. Coetzee
    • 2
  • G. Martin
    • 2
  • M. P. Hill
    • 2
  • J. M. Caffrey
    • 3
  1. 1.BioControl Research Unit, School of Biology and Environmental ScienceUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Department of Zoology and EntomologyRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Inland Fisheries IrelandCo. DublinIreland