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Utilization of the Exotic Weed Pluchea odorata (Asteraceae) and Related Plants by the Introduced Biological Control Agent Acinia picturata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Hawaii

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Abstract:

The flower-head feeding fly Acinia picturata (Diptera: Tephritidae) was deliberately introduced from Mexico into Hawaii in 1959 for biological control of the exotic weed Pluchea odorata (Snow) (Asteraceae). Neither field efficacy nor possible non-target effects of the fly have been evaluated in the 40 years since the introduction. We assessed the impact of the fly on both its target host and on seven non-target plant species. The impact on the target weed was limited, with only 5-13% of the developing seeds in P. odorata flowerheads being destroyed by larval feeding. We did not detect any host range expansion of A. picturata onto flowerheads of two exotic or 5 endemic non-target plant species in the family Asteraceae.

Keywords: ACINIA PICTURATA; CLASSICAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL; ENDEMIC PLANT SPECIES; HOST SPECIFICITY; NON-TARGET IMPACTS; PLUCHEA ODORATA; WEEDS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0958150120093068

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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