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Biology of Bucculatrix parthenica Bradley sp. n. (Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae) and its establishment in Australia as a biological control agent for Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae)

  • A. S. McClay (a1), R. E. McFadyen (a2) and J. D. Bradley (a3)
Abstract

Bucculatrix parthenica Bradley sp. n., a moth native to Mexico, is described. It has been released and established in Queensland, Australia, as a biological control agent for its host plant, Parthenium hysterophorus. The moth oviposits on leaves of its host. First and second instar larvae are leaf miners, and later instars feed externally on the leaves. The life cycle occupies about 25 days under field conditions. B. parthenica was narrowly oligophagous in host-specificity tests. In Mexico the insect is scarce but in Queensland it has become abundant enough to cause extensive defoliation of its host plant at some sites. Its rapid increase in Queensland is attributed to the absence of parasitism.

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References
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Auld, B.A., Hosking, J. & McFadyen, R.E. (1983) Analysis of the spread of tiger pear and parthenium weed in Australia. Australian Weeds 2, 5660.
Braun, A.F. (1963) The genus Bucculatrix in America north of Mexico (Microlepidoptera). Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 18, 1208.
Haseler, W.H. (1976) Parthenium hysterophorus L. in Australia. Pest Articles and News Summaries 22, 515517.
McClay, A.S. (1985) Biocontrol agents for .Parthenium hysterophorus from Mexico. pp. 771778in Delfosse, E.S. (Ed.). Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, August 1984, Vancouver, Canada.
McFadyen, R.E. (1985) The biological control programme against Parthenium hysterophorus in Queensland. pp. 789796in Delfosse, E.S. (Ed.). Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, August 1984, Vancouver, Canada.
Towers, G.H.N., Mitchell, T.C., Rodriguez, E., Bennett, F.D. and Subba Rao, P.V. (1977) Biology and chemistry of Parthenium hysterophorus, a problem weed in India. Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research 36, 672684.
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Bulletin of Entomological Research
  • ISSN: 0007-4853
  • EISSN: 1475-2670
  • URL: /core/journals/bulletin-of-entomological-research
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