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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

A new candidate biological control agent for the control of Pereskia aculeata Miller (Cactaceae) in South Africa

A new candidate biological control agent for the control of Pereskia aculeata Miller (Cactaceae) in South Africa
Lumka A. MDODANA1, Iain D. Paterson1, Steve Compton1,2
1Biological Control Research Group, Department of Zoology & Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140 South Africa
2School of Biology, University of Leeds, LS29JT, UK

Pereskia aculeata Miller (Cactaceae) is an invasive alien plant in South Africa that is a threat to indigenous biodiversity. Pereskiophaga brasilensis Anderson (Curculionidae) is a promising potential biological control agent for P. aculeata that has been imported from the native distribution of southern Brazil into quarantine in South Africa for host specificity testing. The adults of P. brasilensis feed on the leaves and shoot tips of P. aculeata and the larvae mine inside the stems, destroying the vascular tissue. Thirty test plant species from eight closely related families have been tested in no-choice oviposition trials and no development was recorded on any of the test plant species. Larval no-choice tests were also conducted in which larvae hatched on P. aculeata were transferred to test plant species and P. aculeata controls. Fifteen plant species have been included in these tests and feeding and survival was only recorded on P. aculeata. Pereskiophaga brasilensis also had a significant impact on P. aculeata growth parameters. Shoot length was significantly reduced in plants exposed to P. brasilensis by an average of 11.9 cm (±2.07), (T test; t = -42.9, p<0.001), and the average number of leaves was also reduced by 45.3 leaves (±11.9), (T test; t = -4.65, p<0.001). An application for release is being prepared and will be submitted to the relevant authorities. This new agent could significantly impact P. aculeata in South Africa and help protect indigenous biodiversity

Read 2814 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 May 2016 12:18

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