Entomophaga

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 215–221 | Cite as

Biological control of alligator weed: Unsuccessful attempts to control terrestrial growth using the flea beetleDisonycha argentinensis [Col.: Chrysomelidae]

  • M. H. Julien
  • R. R. Chan
Article

Abstract

Biological control of alligator weed growing in aquatic habitats in Australia is successful but the agents, a flea beetleAgasicles hygrophila and a mothVogtia malloi, do not control terrestrial growth. Consequently another flea beetleDisonycha argentinensis was introduced into Australia specifically to control the terrestrial growth. Progeny of adults collected in Brazil from areas similar in climate and habitat to areas infested with alligator weed in Australia, were released but failed to become established. Eggs were laid by females released into a large field cage and some completed development, but the new adults failed to reproduce.

Tentative conclusions are that microclimate or predation may have prevented establishment ofD. argentinensis but the results should not preclude attempts to establish this insect in North America, China or elsewhere.

Key-Words

Disonycha argentinensis alligator weed terrestrial growth biological control 

Résumé

En Australie, la lutte biologique contreAlternanthera philoxeroides, mauvaise herbe se développant en milieu aquatique, a été couronnée de succès mais les auxiliaires utilisés, un ColéoptèreAgasicles hygrophila et un LépidoptèreVogtia malloi sont inefficaces en milieu terrestre.

Un autre Coléoptère,Disonycha argentinensis, fut donc introduit en Australie pour lutter contre le développement de cette mauvaise herbe en milieu terrestre. Les descendants des adultes récoltés au Brésil dans des zones similaires par le climat et le biotope à celles où croît la mauvaise herbe en Australie ont été relâchés mais ne se sont pas installés. Des œufs furent pondus par des femelles lâchées dans une grande cage sur le terrain et des adultes ont ainsi été obtenus, mais ceux-ci ne se reproduisirent pas.

Cet échec peut s'expliquer par le microclimat ou la prédation qui auraient empêché l'installation deDisonycha argentinensis. Cependant ces résultats ne devraient pas empêcher des essais d'installation de cet insecte en Amérique du Nord, en Chine ou ailleurs.

Mots Clés

Disonycha argentinensis milieu terrestre lutte biologique Alternanthera philoxeroides 

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Copyright information

© Lavoisier Abonnements 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. Julien
    • 1
  • R. R. Chan
    • 1
  1. 1.Long Pocket LaboratoriesCSIRO Division of EntomologyIndooroopillyAustralia

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