Biological control agents for Famine weed (Parthenium hysterophorus)
Lorraine Strathie- Agricultural Research Council- Plant Protection Research Institute
Famine weed (Parthenium hysterophorus) (Asteraceae: Heliantheae; parthenium) continues to increase in spread and abundance In South Africa and further afield on the African continent, with growing concern from land owners due to the plant’s detrimental impacts.
In 2013, the Stem boring weevil (listronotus setosipennis) and the Leaf-feeding beetle (Zygogrammma bicolorata) were approved for release as bio control agents.
Both agents were reared in large numbers and more than 90 releases were conducted during the 2013-2014 growth season in KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga provinces, where Parthenium is most invasive.
Field results from the first release season were promising with regards to agent persistence and early levels of damage observed.
For more information please see the fact sheets below: