Foreign Exploration for Insects that Feed on Weeds
The principal reason to conduct foreign exploration for insects that feed on weeds is to identify exotic natural enemies for their prospective use in biological control programs. Indeed, importation of natural enemies is the most common approach to the biological control of pests, and is often called “classical” biological control. This type of pest control requires exploration for beneficial organisms in the home country of the pest to be controlled, with the intent of introducing the beneficial organism to the country where the plant has become a weed. It should be noted that in this case we consider the target plants – the weeds – to be the pests, and phytophagous insects to be beneficial organisms (not pests, as commonly perceived). So we are reversing the way we usually consider insects and plants as pests and crops in agriculture.
Criteria for Successful Exploration
The target plant usually is not a problem in its area of origin and in its natural area of distribution, where as a...