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Cabrera N.,Division Entomologia | Sosa A.,Fundacion para el Estudio de Especies Invasivas FuEDEI | Telesnicki M.,University of Buenos Aires | Julien M.,CSIRO
ZooKeys | Year: 2016

Kuschelina bergi (Harold, 1881) is being studied to be evaluated as a natural enemy of Phyla nodiflora var. minor (Hook.) N. O’Leary & Múlgura (Verbenaceae), an invasive weed in Australia. Eggs, and 1st and 3rd instar larvae are described and illustrated for the first time. The following characters distinguish Kuschelina bergi: presence of two medial setae in prosternum, mesosternum and metasternum, absence of tubercle on sternum I and eight setae in abdominal segment IX. The 3rd instar larvae of K. bergi resemble Kuschelina gibbitarsa (Say) larvae: the body shape and details of mouthparts are similar, but the morphology of the mandible is different, as is the tarsungulus which has a single seta. Differences between K. bergi and other known larvae of Oedionychina are discussed. New biological data based on laboratory rearing and field observation are also presented and discussed. © Nora Cabrera et al. Source

Coutinot D.,European Biological Control Laboratory USDA ARS | Briano J.,Fundacion para el Estudio de Especies Invasivas FuEDEI | Parra J.R.P.,University of Sao Paulo | de Sa L.A.N.,Laboratory Of Quarentena Costa Lima | Consoli F.L.,University of Sao Paulo
Neotropical Entomology | Year: 2013

The access and benefit sharing (ABS) regulations from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for the use of natural resources became an important issue because the biodiversity of developing countries was heavily accessed and unilaterally exploited by pharmaceutical and seed companies. However, natural enemies used for biological control are living and unmodified genetic resources which cannot be patented and have been treated as resources such as drugs, seeds, or other commercial products. Consequently, the ABS requirements have limited not only the use of natural enemies but also the positive effects that scientifically supported biological control strategies have on the society, the environment, and the economy, reducing problems of pesticide residues, water and soil contamination, and non-target effects. During the last several years, the biological control scientific community has faced new and extremely complicated legislation dictated by a high and diverse number of governmental agencies at different levels, making the access to natural resources for biocontrol purposes a rocky road. Society at large should be aware of how the strict ABS regulations affect the use of natural enemies as biological resources to secure food production, food safety, and global environmental protection. We discuss in here the current difficulties derived from CBD for the exchange of natural enemies taking as example the Euro-Mediterranean region, Argentina, and Brazil to demonstrate how long and diverse are the steps to be followed to obtain the required permits for access and exportation/importation of natural enemies. We then argue that the public visibility of biocontrol strategies should be increased and their benefits highlighted in order to persuade legislators for the development of a less bureaucratic, more expedient, and more centralized regulatory frame, greatly favoring the practice and benefits of biological control. We finally propose a general framework in which ABS issues should be dealt in ways to attend the CBD, but also to make the use of natural resources for the biological control of pests to secure food production and security a possible alternative. © 2013 Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil. Source

Flea beetles of alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides (Martius) Grisebach (Amaranthaceae), were collected in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. Species in the genera Disonycha Chevrolat, Agasicles Jacoby, Systena Chevrolat and Phenrica Bechyné were frequently found on this weed. Phenrica littoralis (Bechyné) was the most abundant within this genus. The male is described and the holotype female is redescribed adding new diagnostic characters of the mouthparts, hind wings, metendosternite, and male and female genitalia. Larva and pupa are described and illustrated for the first time providing data for future phylogenetic studies in the subtribe Disonychina. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press. Source

Sacco J.,Laboratorios Fox | Walsh G.C.,Fundacion para el Estudio de Especies Invasivas FuEDEI | Cristina Hernandez M.,Fundacion para el Estudio de Especies Invasivas FuEDEI | Sosa A.J.,Fundacion para el Estudio de Especies Invasivas FuEDEI | And 2 more authors.
Biocontrol Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Taosa longula Remes Lenicov (Hemiptera: Dictyopharidae), a planthopper native to South America, is a candidate for the biological control of water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms-Laubach (Pontederiaceae), a serious weed worldwide. Biological control requires agents that are not only specific but also effective. Damage caused by sap-sucking insects is difficult to assess. In this work we designed an experimental and analytical procedure to evaluate the potential damage of T. longula on water hyacinth. The damage that T. longula causes to the clonal reproduction, biomass production, and growth of water hyacinth was studied through a paired greenhouse trial with floating cages. The performance of the plant, starting from two plants per treatment, was evaluated at different insect densities (5, 10, 15 and 20 nymphs per cage) until all the nymphs moulted to adults. The tests showed that individual growth and biomass production of water hyacinth was reduced due to the effect of the insect feeding above five nymphs per cage. The number of new plants produced by clonal reproduction was only significantly different above 15 nymphs per cage. These results suggest that this planthopper could be an effective agent for the biological control of water hyacinth. © 2013 Taylor & Francis. Source

Diaz R.,University of Florida | Manrique V.,University of Florida | Roda A.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Gandolfo D.,Fundacion para el Estudio de Especies Invasivas FuEDEI | And 3 more authors.
Florida Entomologist | Year: 2014

Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum Dunal) (Solanaceae) is a small shrub native to South America that is invasive in pastures and conservation areas across Florida. Dense patches of tropical soda apple not only reduce cattle stocking rates and limit their movement, but also serve as reservoirs for pests of solanaceous crops. A classical biological control program was initiated in 1994 with exploration for natural enemies of tropical soda apple in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Host specificity tests conducted under laboratory and field conditions demonstrated that the leaf feeding beetle Gratiana boliviana Dunal (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) was a specialist herbivore that completes development only on the target weed. After obtaining appropriate permits, field releases of G. boliviana were initiated in Florida in May of 2003. Larvae and adults of G. boliviana feed on tropical soda apple leaves and may completely defoliate their host plants, resulting in reduced growth and fruit production. Mass rearing facilities for the beetle were established in northern, central and southern Florida, and adults were either hand-carried or transported to release sites by overnight courier. From 2003 to 2011, a total of 250,723 beetles were released and they became established throughout Florida, however, their impact is more noticeable in regions below latitude 29 °N. Reductions of tropical soda apple densities caused by damage by the beetle were visible 2-3 yr after initial release, or in some cases, within a few months. Various methods of technology transfer were used to inform the public, land owners, funding agencies and scientists about the biological control program, including articles in trade magazines, extension publications, websites, videos, field days and scientific publications. The project was successful because of the coordinated efforts of personnel from federal, state and county agencies. Source

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