|Project Title:||Biological Control of Weeds of Australian and Southeast Asian Origin|
|To find and evaluate natural enemies of the Australian broad-leaved paperbark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia, and Lygodium microphyllum, Old World climbing fern, for possible introduction as biological control agents into the United States.|
Melaleuca quinquenervia and Lygodium microphyllum are native
to the coastal swamps and other wetlands of eastern Australia. The paperbark tree was introduced into Florida in the United States at the beginning of this century. In the last 30-40 years M. quinquenervia has greatly expanded its range in southern Florida where it now infests over 200,000 hectares causing extensive environmental and economic damage. Trees, which can grow to 30 m in height, flower and seed prolifically and form dense forests, which displace native plants and animals. Old World climbing fern has just recently been listed as one of the most serious invasive weeds in Florida. The vine climbs high into trees and over shrubs, smothering whole plant communities. Its distribution is rapidly expanding in central and south Florida including: bald cypress swamps, wet prairies, saw-grass marshes and Everglade tree islands.
Of the more than 500 insect species collected in Queensland and northern New South Wales which feed on M. quinquenervia several have been identified as candidate biological control agents and two have now been released. Oxyops vitiosa, released in late 1997, is well established in Florida and spreading rapidly from all release sites. The larvae of this weevil severely damage the young foliage of both trees and saplings causing stunted growth and reduced foliage production. Signficant reduction in flowering and seed production has been documented. The sap sucking psyllid, Boreioglycaspis melaleucae was released in May 2002. Field studies are underway to evaluate its establishment and impact. Quarantine studies have been completed on Lophyrotoma zonalis and gall fly, Fergusonina sp. The leaf-blotching mirid, Eucerocoris suspectus, was eliminated as an agent due to feeding damage on guava, noted in the experimental field plots at Long Pocket Labs. Laboratory studies in Australia are now concentrating on two new potential agents; the tube-dwelling moth, Poliopaschia lithochlora, and the gall forming cecidomyiid midge, Lophodiplosis indentata. Preliminary host testing has been completed on the tube-dwelling moth Poliopaschia lithochlora and shipment to quarantine facilities in Florida is expected in late 2002. Field studies have begun on several new potential agents including; a stem boring cermabycid beetle, bud feeding haplonyx weevil (see photo), and the bud feeding holocola moth.
Exploration for agents for Lygodium microphyllum is underway in Australia and Southeast Asia. Twenty-two herbivores have been collected thus far. Preliminary host range testing of Cataclysta camptozonale (Pyralidae) and Neomusotima conspurcatalis (Pyralidae) has been completed. These insects were shipped to the Univ. of Florida/ARS quarantine in Gainesville, Florida for final host range testing. A third pyralid moth species from New Caledonia has been discovered and is now in culture in Brisbane quarantine facilities. Preliminary host range testing for the New Caledonian species is underway. A forth pyralid species, a stem borer, is under development in Thailand. Although we know the stem-borer can be very destructive to the fern, we have been unable to rear it. ABCL and Thai researchers are developing an artificial stem and diet for this species. Laboratory production of the stem-borer will allow for initiation of biological studies and host range testing. The eriophyid mite, Floracarus perrepae has been collected from throughout the range of L. microphyllum in Australia and Asia. The mite causes leaf curling and stunts new growth. High populations of the mite are associated with secondary diseases and eventual defoliation. Field studies in Brisbane show that the mite causes a signficant impact on biomass production, reducing growth by more than 50%. Genetic characterization of the mites from Australia and Asia has revealed the existences of several genotypes. Tests of each genotype are in progress to determine which genotype is best suited to the invasive Florida genotype of the fern. Host range studies of the most promising F. perrepae genotype will be conducted in Brisbane. Exploration for additional agents is continuing in Australia, China, New Caledonia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Palau, Singapore, and Thailand.
Lygodium microphyllum, one of the target weeds, showing the damage of the pyralid larvae.
|Lygodium microphyllum biological control agents:|
Three leaf defoliating moths (Pyralidae) have been collected from L. microphyllum. in Australia and SE Asia. (From top to bottom) Austromusotima camptozonale, Lygomusotima stria and Neomusotima conspurcatalis. Host range testing of A. camptozonale and N. conspurcatalis has been completed and applications for release of these agents are pending.
A leafmining beetle (Buprestidae) has been collected from L. microphyllum in Singapore. We are investigating the biology of this insect in the field, and in our Brisbane quarantine laboratory.
A leaf-curling mite, Floracarus perrepae (Eriophyidae) has been collected L. microphyllum from Australia and SE Asia. Mite feeding is associated with foliar disease which leads to defoliation. Host range testing of the mite has been completed and a petition for release is pending.
|Melaleuca quinquenervia biological control agents:|
|Careades plana (Noctuidae) has been collected from Melaleuca quinquenervia in Queensland. The larvae feed on the older foliage, pupating on the underside of the leaves. Preliminary host range tests are in progress.|
|The fly/nematode complex of Fergusonina turneri/Fergusobia melaleucae gall tips of M. quinquenervia. Galls suppress new growth and reduce seed production. Field host specificity and studies of its evolutionary biology with Melaleuca have been completed, along with quarantine studies in Gainesville. A petition for release of the agent in Florida is pending.|
A. Male and Female Fergusonina sp. adults.
B. Interior of Fergusonina gall with multiple chambers containing fly pupae and parasitoid consuming Fergusonina larvae. Eleven species of primary parasitoids, predatoids and hyperparasitoids keep Fergusonina turneri at very low levels in Australia. When liberated from these parasites in Florida, higher population levels of the gall fly are expected which will allow for a greater impact on the invasive paperbark tree.
C. Fergusonina/Fergusobia gall on Melaleuca quinquenervia showing suppression of flower bud on right side.
Haplonyx weevil inside a Melaleuca quinquenervia bud.
|Collaborators:||USDA, ARS, Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|United States Department of Agriculture. Our research program is funded in part by the South Florida Water Management District, Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Southwest Florida Water Management District.|
PEMBERTON, R.W., GOOLSBY, J., WRIGHT, T. 2002. Old World climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum (Cav.) R.Br.) pp.139-147. In: Van Driesche, R., Blossey, B., Hoddle, M., Lyon, S., and Reardon, R. (Eds.), Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States. US Forest Service
Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team-2002-04, Morgantown, West Virginia.
PURCELL, M., J.A. GOOLSBY & W. FORNO. 2002. Foreign Exploration. In: Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the United States, The Theory and Practice of Biological Control of Weeds. J. K. Clark ed. (In Press).
GIBLIN-DAVIS, R. M., J. MAKINSON, B. J. CENTER, K. A. DAVIES, M. PURCELL, G. L. TAYLOR, S. SCHEFFER, W. WERGIN, J. GOOLSBY & T. D. CENTER. Fergusobia/Fergusonina gall development on Melaleuca quinquenervia. Journal of Nematology. 33. (In Press).
PEMBERTON, R.W., J.A. GOOLSBY, & A.D. WRIGHT. Biological control of Old World climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum. In: History of Biological Control Efforts in the Eastern U.S. R.G. VanDriesche ed. USDA Publication. (In Press).
RAYACHHETRY, M.B., T. K. VAN, T.D. CENTER, J.A. GOOLSBY, P.D. PRATT, & A. RACELIS. 2002. Biological attributes of the canopy-held melaleuca seeds in Australia and Florida, US. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 40: (In Press).
GOOLSBY, J.A., C.J. BURWELL, J. MAKINSON, & F, DRIVER. 2001. Investigation of the biology of hymenoptera associated with Fergusonina sp. (Diptera: Fergusoninidae), a gall fly of Melaleuca quinquenervia, Integrating Molecular Techniques. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 2: 172-200.
BURROWS, D.W. and BALCIUNAS, J.K. Distribution, biology and host-range of the Melaleuca leaf-blotching Bug, Eucerocoris suspectus (Hemiptera: Miridae), a potential biological control agent for the paperbark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia (Myrtaceae). Environmental Entomology. (in press)
CENTER, T. D., T. K. VAN, M. RAYACHHETRY, G. R. BUCKINGHAM, F. A. DRAY, S. A. WINERITER, M. F. PURCELL, and P. D. PRATT. Field colonization of the melaleuca snout beetle (Oxyops vitiosa) in south Florida. BIOLOGICAL CONTROL 19, 112-123. 2000.
GOOLSBY, J.A., J. R. MAKINSON, and M. A. PURCELL. 2000. Seasonal phenology of the gall-making fly Fergusonina sp. (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) and its implications for biological control of Melaleuca quinquenervia. Australian Journal of Entomology 39: 336-343.
GOOLSBY, JA; TIPPING, PW; CENTER, TD; DRIVER, F. 2000. Evidence of a new Cyrtobagous species (Coleoptera : Curculionidae) on Salvinia minima Baker in Florida. Southwestern Entomol. 25: 299-301.
PURCELL, M.F., GALWAY, K.E., GOOLSBY, J.A., MAKINSON, J.R. and MIRA,D. Field Plot Experiments, a method of assessing the host range of biological control agents for Melaleuca quinquenervia in its native range. In Proceedings of the X International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, 4-9 July 1999, Bozeman, Montana, USA.
WRIGHT, A.D., GOOLSBY, J.A. and PEMBERTON, R.W. (1999) (Poster Abstract:) Lygodium microphyllum, a new target for biological control. Symposium on Biological Control in the Tropics, Serdang, Malaysia, March 1999 (Loke, W.H. ed.) p 146.
WRIGHT, A.D., GOOLSBY, J.A. and PEMBERTON, R.W. (1999) (Poster Abstract:) Lygodium microphyllum, a new target for biological control. In Proceedings of the X International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, 4-9 July 1999, Bozeman, Montana, USA.
BURROWS, D.W. and BALCIUNAS, J.K. 1998. Biology and host range of Pomponatius typicus Distant (Heteroptera: Coreidae), a potential biological control agent for the paperbark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia, in southern Florida. Australian Journal of Entomology 37:168-173.
TURNER, C. E., CENTER, T. D., BURROWS, D.W. and BUCKINGHAM, G.R. 1998. Ecology and management of Melaleuca quinquenervia, an invader of wetlands in Florida, USA. Wetlands Ecology and Management 5: 165-178.
BURROWS, D.W. and BALCIUNAS, J.K. 1997. Biology, distribution and host-range of the sawfly, Lophyrotoma zonalis (Hym: Pergidae), a potential biological control agent for the paperbark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia. Entomophaga 42(3): 299-313.
FORNO, I. W. and PURCELL, M. F. 1997. Exploration of agents. In M. Julien and G. White (eds.), Biological Control of Weeds: theory and practical application. ACIAR Monograph No. 49 192pp.
GAGNE, R.J., BALCIUNAS, J.K. and BURROWS, D.W. 1997. Six new species of gall midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) from Melaleuca (Myrtaceae) in Australia. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 99(2): 312-334.
PURCELL, M.F. BALCIUNAS, J.K. and JONES P.K. 1997. Biology and host-range of Boreioglycaspis melaleucae (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), potential biological control agent for Melaleuca quinquenervia (Myrtaceae). Environmental Entomology 26: 366-372.
WRIGHT, T. (1997) Distribution of agents. pp 97-100, in: Julien, M. and White, G. Biological Control of Weeds: theory and practical application. ACIAR Monograph No. 49. 192p.
WRIGHT, T. (1997) Establishment of agents. pp 101-103, in: Julien, M. and White, G. Biological Control of Weeds: theory and practical application. ACIAR Monograph No. 49. 192p.
GOOLSBY, J.A., WRIGHT, A.D. & PEMBERTON, R.W. 2003. Exploratory Surveys in Australia and Asia for Natural Enemies of Old World Climbing Fern, Lygodium microphyllum: Lygodiaceae. Biological Control 28: 33-46.
GIBLIN-DAVIS, R. M., J. MAKINSON, B. J. CENTER, K. A. DAVIES, M. PURCELL, G. L. TAYLOR, S. SCHEFFER, W. WERGIN, J. GOOLSBY & T. D. CENTER. 2003. Fergusobia/Fergusonina gall development on Melaleuca quinquenervia. Journal of Nematology. 33. (In Press).
PEMBERTON, R.W., J.A. GOOLSBY, & A.D. WRIGHT. 2003. Biological control of Old World climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum. In: History of Biological Control Efforts in the Eastern U.S. R.G. VanDriesche ed. USDA Publication. FHTET-2002-04, (Book Chapter).
GOOLSBY, J.A., A.A. KIRK, & D.E. MEYERDIRK. 2002. Seasonal phenology and natural enemies of Maconellicoccus hirsutus in Australia. Florida Entomologist 85: 494-498.
PURCELL, M., J.A. GOOLSBY & W. FORNO. 2003. Foreign Exploration. In: Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the United States, The Theory and Practice of Biological Control of Weeds. J. K. Clark ed. (In Press) (Book Chapter).
GOOLSBY, J.A., J.R. MAKINSON, D.M. HARTLEY, R. ZONNEVELD AND A.D. WRIGHT. 2003. Pre-release evaluation and host range testing of Floracarus perrepae (Eriophyidae) genotypes for biological control of Old World climbing fern In Jim Cullen (ed.), Proceedings, XI International Symposium Biological Control of Weeds, April 27-May 2, 2003, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia. (in press).
QUIMBY, P.C. JR. ; DELOACH, C.J.; WINERITER, S.A.; GOOLSBY, J.A.; SOBHIAN, R.; BOYETTE, C.D.; ABBAS, H.K. 2003. Biological control of weeds: research by the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service: selected case studies, In: Pest management science. June/July 2003. v. 59 (6/7), p. 671-680.
SOLIS, M.A., SHEN-HORN, YEN, AND GOOLSBY, J.A. 2003. Species of Lygomusotima New Genus, and Neomusotima Yoshiyasu (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) from Australia and Southeastern Asia Feeding on Lygodium microphyllum (Schizaeaceae) Annals of the Entomological Society of America. (in press)
SHEN-HORN, YEN, SOLIS, M. A. AND GOOLSBY J. A.. 2003. Austromusotima, a new musotimine genus (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) feeding on Old World climbing fern. Annals of Entomological Society of America (in press)
PURCELL, M.F. AND GOOLSBY, J.A. 2003. Herbivorous Insects Associated with the paperbark Melaleuca quinquenervia and its allies: VI. Pergidae. The Australian Entomologist (in press).
GIBLIN-DAVIS, R. M., B. J. CENTER, K. A. DAVIES, M. PURCELL, S. J. SCHEFFER, G. S. TAYLOR, J. GOOLSBY, AND T. D. CENTER. 2003. Histological Comparisons of Fergusobia/Fergusonina-induced Galls on Different Myrtaceous Hosts, Journal of Nematology. (in press).
ALEXANDER JESUDASAN, R.W., B. MUTHURAJ AND J.A. GOOLSBY. 2004. Notes on the biology of Callopistria sp. A (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a herbivore of Old World climbing fern, Lygoidum microphyllum. Journal of Applied Zoological Researches. 15: (In Press).
GOOLSBY, J.A. 2004. Potential distribution of the invasive Old World climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum in North and South America. Natural Areas Journal (In Press).
FREEMAN, T.P., J.A. GOOLSBY, S.K. OZMAN, AND D.R. NELSON. 2004. An ultrastructural study of the relationship between the mite Floracarus perrepae Knihinicki & Boczek (Acariformes: Eriophyidae) and the fern Lygodium microphyllum (Cav.) R. Br. (Lygodiaceae). Australian Journal of Entomology. (In Press).
|Last modified: 04/22/2004.  Send comments or questions to John Goolsby.|