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The host specificity of Anomalococcus indicus Ayyar (Hemiptera: Lecanodiaspididae), a potential biological control agent for prickly acacia (Vachellia nilotica ssp. indica) in Australia

Taylor, D. B. J. and Dhileepan, K. (2018) The host specificity of Anomalococcus indicus Ayyar (Hemiptera: Lecanodiaspididae), a potential biological control agent for prickly acacia (Vachellia nilotica ssp. indica) in Australia. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 28 (11). pp. 1014-1033. ISSN 09583157 (ISSN)

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1080/09583157.2018.1504886

Abstract

Prickly acacia, Vachellia nilotica ssp. indica (Benth.) Kyal. & Boatwr, is a significant weed of northern Australia and has been a target of weed biological control in Australia since the 1980s. Following native range surveys in India, the scale insect Anomalococcus indicus Ayyar was identified as the most promising agent and was imported into Australia for further research. A. indicus is a major pest of prickly acacia on the Indian subcontinent, where it causes shoot tip dieback and plant death. Despite field observations suggesting the species was specific to V. nilotica, A. indicus completed development on 17 of the 84 non-target plant species tested during no-choice host specificity trials under quarantine conditions. Of these, Acacia falcata,V. bidwillii, V. sutherlandii and Neptunia major supported high numbers of mature females in all replicates. All of these species were utilised in choice trials. Combined risk scores indicate that V. sutherlandii, N. major and A. falcata may be attacked in the field. Due to the limited ability of scale insects to disperse, only those non-target species that occur on the Mitchell grass downs (i.e. V. sutherlandii) are considered to be at risk. Nevertheless, in view of the disparity between quarantine test results and the observed field host specificity of A. indicus in India, field trials are currently being conducted in India using Australian native species on which complete development has occurred. The future of A. indicus as a biological control agent for prickly acacia in Australia will be determined once results from these field trials are known. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:host specificity scale insect Vachellia nilotica Weed biological control
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection
Deposited On:17 Jan 2019 02:38
Last Modified:03 Sep 2019 03:48

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