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Risk to non-target plants from Charidotis auroguttata (Chrysomelidae: Coleoptera), a potential biocontrol agent for cat's claw creeper Macfadyena unguis-cati (Bignoniaceae) in Australia

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Dhileepan, K., Treviño, M., Donnelly, G.P. and Raghu, S. (2005) Risk to non-target plants from Charidotis auroguttata (Chrysomelidae: Coleoptera), a potential biocontrol agent for cat's claw creeper Macfadyena unguis-cati (Bignoniaceae) in Australia. Biological Control, 32 (3). pp. 450-460. ISSN 1049-9644

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2004.11.006


The potential of the leaf beetle Charidotis auroguttata as a biocontrol agent for cat’s claw creeper Macfadyena unguis-cati (Bignoniaceae), an environmental weed in Australia, and risk to non-target plants was evaluated under quarantine conditions. In no-choice tests, C. auroguttata adults and larvae fed on many plant species across different families, but egg to adult development occurred only on the target weed. However, when neonate larvae from the target weed were transferred onto Myoporum boninense australe (Myoporaceae), a non-target native plant, 11.7% completed development, as compared to 95% of larvae that completed development on the target weed. Larval development on this non-target species also took twice as long as on the target weed. No larvae completed development on other test plants. In choice tests, leaf area consumption by adults and larvae was significantly more on the target weed than on other plants, and oviposition occurred only on the target weed. In the no-choice demography trials, adults laid eggs from the second week after emergence on the target weed, with an average of 0.286 eggs/female/day, resulting in an 18-fold increase in the adult population over 16 weeks. On My. boninense australe adult survival remained high, but oviposition commenced only from the 10th week after emergence with an average of 0.023 eggs/female/day, and none of the eggs developed into adults. In the choice demography trials, oviposition on the target weed was evident from the fourth week onwards, while on the non-target plant oviposition commenced only from the 14th week. Only 10% of total adults and 11.3% of total eggs were found on the non-target plant, and none of these eggs developed into adults. Although the biocontrol agent can ‘spill-over’ from the target weed to the non-target native plant and cause adult feeding damage, the non-target plant could not sustain a viable insect population on its own. This agent was not approved for field release in Australia due to perceived risk to non-target species.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection > Organic plant protection. Biological control
Live Archive:05 Feb 2024 01:28
Last Modified:05 Feb 2024 01:28

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