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Agonosoma trilineatum (Heteroptera: Scutelleridae) a biological control agent of the weed bellyache bush, Jatropha gossypiifolia (Euphorbiaceae)

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Heard, T.A., Chan, R.R., Wilmot Senaratne, K.A.D., Palmer, W.A., Lockett, C. and Lukitsch, B. (2009) Agonosoma trilineatum (Heteroptera: Scutelleridae) a biological control agent of the weed bellyache bush, Jatropha gossypiifolia (Euphorbiaceae). Biological Control, 48 (2). pp. 196-203.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2008.09.016

Publisher URL: http://www.elsevier.com


Bellyache bush, Jatropha gossypiifolia L., is a serious weed of northern Australia. Agonosoma trilineatum (F.) is an insect from tropical America released in Australia in 2003 as a biological control agent against bellyache bush. It feeds on seeds and has the potential to reduce seed production, thereby potentially reducing the rate of spread and recruitment. To test the host specificity of A. trilineatum, four biological responses to host plant species were determined: development of nymphs, oviposition preferences, adult feeding and frequency of mating. Development of nymphs to adults and adult feeding only occurred on three Jatropha spp. These species also supported mating and oogenesis but only J. gossypiifolia was accepted for oviposition. Mating did not occur in the presence of other plant species. The evidence indicates that there is little risk associated with the release of this insect species in Australia and probably other countries where this weed is a problem. The probability of this insect expanding its host range is low because multiple aspects of the biology would need to change simultaneously. A. trilineatum was released in Australia between 2003 and 2007. A Climex model indicated that coastal areas of Queensland and the Northern Territory would be climatically most suitable for this insect.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:© Crown Copyright.
Keywords:Biological control of weeds; climate matching; host range; host specificity.
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
Science > Invasive Species > Modelling > Animal
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Live Archive:14 Apr 2009 07:05
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:48

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