Applied Entomology and Zoology

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 375–381 | Cite as

Risk to nontarget plants from Ophraella communa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a potential biological control agent of alien invasive weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Asteraceae) in China

  • Zhenjun Cao
  • Hongyuan Wang
  • Ling Meng
  • Baoping LiEmail author
Original Research Paper


Ophraella communa LeSage is an oligophagous insect that shows promise for controlling the alien invasive weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. in China. This study was performed to evaluate the risk of O. communa on the basis of host-specificity testing of larval development under no-choice conditions and of oviposition preferences under choice conditions in greenhouses and in the open field. Under no-choice conditions, O. communa larvae experienced much higher mortality rates on the nontarget plants than on the target weed, but a small proportion of larvae completed development on the nontarget plants examined, including Xanthium sibiricum Patrin ex Widder, Helianthus tuberosus L., and H. annuus L. Multiple-choice tests indicated that O. communa showed a strong oviposition preference for the target weed over the nontarget plants and laid few eggs on the economically important Helianthus crops tested. In paired-choice trials, O. communa adults showed an obvious preference for the target weed over X. sibiricum but preferred X. sibiricum to H. annuus. The results suggest that X.sibiricum might be used as a lower-ranked host plant next to the target weed by O. communa, and that Helianthus crops would not be at risk of being used for oviposition in the field.


Host specificity Biological weed control Oviposition selection Choice test Open-field test 



We thank Fang Liu and Yuan He for help in the experiments. This study was supported by the National Basic Research and Development Program (2009CB119200), Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC30470295), and National Science & Technology Pillar Program (2006BAD08A18). The experiments reported in this paper comply with the current laws of the People’s Republic of China where they were conducted. All of the authors in this paper declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhenjun Cao
    • 1
  • Hongyuan Wang
    • 1
  • Ling Meng
    • 1
  • Baoping Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Entomology, College of Plant ProtectionNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina

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