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Host associations of gall-inducing Prodiplosis longifila (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) from Bolivia: implications for its use as a biological control agent for Jatropha gossypiifolia (Euphorbiaceae)

Dhileepan, K., Neser, S., Rumiz, D., Raman, A. and Sharma, A. (2017) Host associations of gall-inducing Prodiplosis longifila (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) from Bolivia: implications for its use as a biological control agent for Jatropha gossypiifolia (Euphorbiaceae). Florida Entomologist, 100 (4).

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Abstract

Based on field host range and damage potential, we explored the prospects of exploiting a gall midge from Jatropha clavuligera Müll. Arg. (Euphorbiaceae) in Bolivia as a “new-association” biological control agent for Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae), a major rangeland weed in Australia. The gall midge, determined morphologically as Prodiplosis longifila Gagné (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), induces rosette galls, resulting in shoot tip dieback in J. clavuligera in Bolivia. Although P. longifila is reported to occur on a range of crops in the Neotropics, its feeding on J. clavuligera in Bolivia is strikingly different in that it induces rosette galls on its shoots. In other countries, P. longifila larvae feed on leaves, buds, flowers and fruits, with no gall symptoms. There was no evidence of P. longifila-induced galls on crop plants (reported hosts in other countries), other species of Jatropha, or other species of Euphorbiaceae in Bolivia, and in choice tests conducted in the quarantine facility in South Africa. Bolivian entomological records do not report any damage to crops by P. longifila. We propose that P. longifila in Bolivia is possibly a new species restricted to a few closely related species of Jatropha and a part of a cryptic species complex. Based on the susceptibility of J. gossypiifolia to the gall-inducing P. longifila in the field in Bolivia and in quarantine tests in South Africa, we propose that the gall-inducing P. longifila sourced from J. clavuligera in Bolivia is a potential “new-association” biological control agent for J. gossypiifolia in Australia.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Deposited On:11 Jan 2018 06:33
Last Modified:11 Jan 2018 06:33

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