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Biological control of bellyache bush (Jatropha gossypiifolia) in Australia: South America as a possible source of natural enemies

Dhileepan, K. and Neser, S. and De Prins, J. (2014) Biological control of bellyache bush (Jatropha gossypiifolia) in Australia: South America as a possible source of natural enemies. In: Proceedings of the XIV International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, 2 - 7 March 2014 , University of Capetown, Capetown, South Africa.

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Organisation URL: http://www.isbcw2014.uct.ac.za/proceedings_final.pdf

Abstract

Bellyache bush (Jatropha gossypiifolia, Euphorbiaceae), a deciduous shrub introduced as an ornamental from tropical America, is a major and expanding weed of rangelands and riparian zones in northern Australia. Biological control is the most economically viable and long-term management solution for this weed. Surveys for potential biological control agents for J gossypiifolia in Mexico,Central America and the Caribbean resulted in release of the seed-feeding jewel bug Agonosoma trilineatum (Hemiptera: Scutelleridae), which failed to establish, and prioritisation of a leaf-rust Phakopsora arthuriana (Puccineales: Phakopsoraceae) for host-specificity testing, which is ongoing.
With poor prospects for new agents from Mexico and Central America and the Caribbean, the search for candidate agents on J gossypiifolia shifted to localities south of the equator. Surveys were conducted on the purple-leaf form of J gossypiifolia, Jatropha excisa, Jatropha clavuligera and
Jatropha curcas in Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay in 2012 and 2013. A total of 11 insect species, one mite species and the leaf-rust (P. arthuriana) were observed. These include a yet to be described leafmining moth (Stomphastis sp.) (Lepidoptera: Gracillaridae), a shoot and leaf-galling midge
Prodiplosis longifila, and leaf-feeding midge Prodiplosis sp. near longifila (both Diptera:Cecidomyiidae) and an unidentified leaf-feeding moth larva (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae). The leafminer is widespread and damaging and has a field host range restricted to the genus Jatropha in Peru and Bolivia, holds the greatest promise as a biological control agent in Australia. Phakopsora arthuriana was recorded for the first time ever from Bolivia and Peru. Further exploration will be conducted in Peru and Bolivia during the wet season to confirm the field host range of collected agents,and to look for more new agents. Promising agents with field host-range restricted to Jatropha spp. will be imported into a quarantine facility in Australia for host-specificity testing.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:New association, bellyache bush, Jatropha, Gracillariidae, Scutelleridae, Cecidornyiidae
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Deposited On:17 Mar 2015 04:46
Last Modified:21 Apr 2015 05:41

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