The Use of Megamelus scutellaris Berg in the Southern United States as a Biocontrol Agent of Waterhyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.))
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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This document summarizes the development of rearing techniques and methodology for field releases of Megamelus scutellaris Berg Hemiptera Delphacidae waterhyacinth planthopper during the period 2010-2012. This work was accomplished through a collaborative effort that involved the US Army Corps of Engineers - Engineer Research and Development Center USACE-ERDC and the Louisiana State University LSU AgCenter. Over 3 years of adaptive rearing techniques, more than 13,875 M. scutellaris were released at field sites in Texas and Louisiana. In addition, because of questions regarding temperature tolerance and related mortality of various life stages of M. scutellaris, a study was undertaken to examine temperature differences in key internal tissues of the waterhyacinth plant and within the canopy in relationship to changes in water temperature. To the authors knowledge, this is the first published information regarding the influence of water and air temperature on canopy and internal plant temperature in waterhyacinth.