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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

The use of molecular approaches in biological control: using DNA barcoding to resolve taxonomic ambiguity between geographically distinct populations

The use of molecular approaches in biological control: using DNA barcoding to resolve taxonomic ambiguity between geographically distinct populations
Rosie Mangan1, James C. Carolan2, Jan-Robert Baars1
1BioControl Research Unit, School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Ireland; 2Department of Biology, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Hydrellia lagarosiphon Deeming, a leaf mining fly species in the family Ephydridae, is currently being investigated as a biological control agent of Lagarosiphon major (Ridl.) Moss ex Wager (Hydrocharitaceae), an invasive aquatic plant found in several European countries as well as New Zealand and Australia. A vital step when considering the natural enemies’ potential for biological control, particularly those new to science, is the ability to accurately identify it.  Genetic assessments are  becoming routine practice in  species  identification, but  there  are  only a  limited number  of biological control programmes that have characterized genetic variation within or among populations of weed biological control agents prior to their release. The target weed L. major is a common aquatic plant in its native range in southern Africa. The fly was first found associated with this plant in 2008 and subsequently found throughout the geographic range of the plant even in areas considered quite isolated. The mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) barcoding sequence was used to determine the level of genetic variation of H. lagarosiphon within and among populations within spatially separated geographical areas of South Africa. The data confirmed that a single leaf-mining species damages L. major plants over a very large area in South Africa. The results also confirm that the individuals used in host specificity testing are from one population and there is an apparent absence of cryptic species. This information can be built on and used to predict the minimum number of individuals needed for release to maintain diversity, which can improve rates of establishment.

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more