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Host specificity of the rubber vine moth, Euclasta whalleyi Popescu-Gorj and Constantinescu (Lepidoptera: Crambidae: Pyraustinae): field host-range compared to that predicted by laboratory tests

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The moth Euclasta whalleyi was introduced into Australia in 1988 for the biocontrol of its host plant, rubber vine Cryptostegia grandiflora, despite test results predicting it might also attack the related native vine Gymnanthera oblonga. Ten years after release, the moth is widespread and damaging on rubber vine, but there is no attack on G. oblonga, except when it is growing in close association with rubber vine plants. The implications of ‘false positives’ in host-specificity testing are discussed.
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Keywords: Asclepiadaceae; Cryptostegia grandiflora; host-specificity testing; non-target effects; weed biological control

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Alan Fletcher Research Station, Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, PO Box 36, Sherwood, Qld 4075, Australia. 2: Tropical Weeds Research Centre, Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, PO Box 187, Charters Towers, Qld 4820, Australia.

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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