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Prospects for the classical biological control of Calotropis procera (Apocynaceae) using co-evolved insects

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Dhileepan, K. (2014) Prospects for the classical biological control of Calotropis procera (Apocynaceae) using co-evolved insects. Biocontrol Science and Technology . pp. 1-37. ISSN 0958-3157

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09583157.2014.912611


Calotropis procera (Apocynaceae), a native of tropical Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, is a serious environmental and rangeland weed of Australia and Brazil. It is also a weed in Hawaii in USA, the Caribbean Islands, the Seychelles, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam and many Pacific Islands. In the native range C. procera has many natural enemies, thus classical biological control could be the most cost-effective option for its long-term management. Based on field surveys in India and a literature search, some 65 species of insects and five species of mites have been documented on C. procera and another congeneric-invador C. gigantea in the native range. All the leaf-feeding and stem-boring agents recorded on Calotropis spp. have wide host range. Three pre-dispersal seed predators,the Aak weevil Paramecops farinosus and the Aak fruit fly Dacuspersicus in the Indian subcontinent, and the Sodom apple fruit fly Dacus longistylus in the Middle East have been identified as prospective biological control agents based on their field host range. In Australia and Brazil, where C. procera has the potential to spread across vast areas, pre-dispersal seed predators would help to limit the spread of the weed. While the fruits of C. procera vary in size and shape across its range, those from India are similar to the ones in Australia and Brazil. Hence, seed-feeding insects from India are more likely to be suitable due to adaptation to fruit size and morphology. Future survey efforts for potential biological control agents should focus on North Africa.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Live Archive:03 Jul 2014 01:45
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:49

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