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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

Suitability of the defoliating beetle Physonota maculiventris (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) for release against Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.)A.Gray (Asteraceae) in South Africa

Suitability of the defoliating beetle Physonota maculiventris (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) for release against Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.)A.Gray (Asteraceae) in South Africa
T. E. Mphephu1, 2*, D. O. Simelane1 & T. Olckers2
1Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute, Private Bag X134, Queenswood, 0121 South Africa
2University of Kwazulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209 South Africa

Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.)A.Gray (Asteraceae), commonly known as Mexican sunflower, is a perennial bushy plant of Mexican and Central American origin. It has become naturalized in South Africa, particularly in Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces where it has become a problematic aggressive weed. A biological control programme against T. diversifolia was initiated in South Africa in 2007. The tortoise beetle, Physonota maculiventris (Coleoptera: Chrsomelidae), was initially selected as a promising candidate agent and imported into South Africa in 2010 for host- specificity testing in quarantine. Tests carried out on the beetle so far have shown positive results, including severe damage by the adults and immature stages to the plant’s leaves. Physonota maculiventris has a relatively short generation period and highly damaging larval stages. Among the 64 test plant species screened, the beetle has caused only minor damage on two non-target speices. Based on these preliminary results, P. maculiventris appears to be a highly promising agent for T. diversifolia and could provide a solution to the threat posed by this weed in South Africa.

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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


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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


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