Efficacy of Sameodes albiguttalis as a Biocontrol of Waterhyacinth.
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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Sameodes albiguttalis Warren is a South American pyralid moth species which was released in Florida in 1977 for the biological control of water-hyacinth. After it was determined that populations of this insect had become established in the field, various efficacy studies were begun. The first of these began in September 1978, and ultimately, data were collected at 15 sites from throughout Florida. The objectives of these studies were to determine a if S. albiguttalis would be persistent, b if it could be augmented if it were not persistent, and c if it had a significant impact upon waterhyacinth populations within the context of comparisons among other control agents and the plants ability to recover from serious injury. Data indicate that S. albiguttali will, under certain conditions, be an effective biological control of waterhyacinth. This will generally be true only where the waterhyacinth population is in a predominantly colonizing mode. In these situations the plants are small, luxuriantly growing, have large, inflated leaf petioles, and often do not exist as part of a continuous mat. Infestations are usually heaviest along the developing fringe of a mat or in areas where the plants have been killed by frost, drought, or herbicide and are regrowing.