Investigations into Biological Control for Common Reed and Flowering Rush
ERDC Vicksburg United States
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The noctuid moths Archanara geminipuncta and A. neurica were selected as the most promising candidates for biological control of common reed. Complete development was possible on the native North American subspecies P. australis americanus. However, open-field oviposition tests showed a strong preference of female moths for both European and introduced P. australis. An egg overwintering experiment also showed that neither of the two moth species will survive at latitudes which correspond to regions where the subspecies P. australis berlandieri is occurring. The authors contributed to a petition for field release, which will be submitted by North American partners during 2018.The semi-aquatic weevil Bagous nodulosus is one of the most promising potential agents for biological control of flowering rush. The authors established a rearing colony and began sequential no-choice oviposition tests, which confirmed the narrow host range of the weevil. In a preliminary impact experiment, a reduction of 33 above-ground biomass was found due to adult feeding. The authors also began work with the agromyzid fly Phytoliriomyza ornata and the white smut Doassansia niesslii. The teleomorphic state of this pathogen is able to infect flowering rush under water, which will be advantageous for controlling completely submerged populations of the plant.