Biological Control Technology Development: Biological Control Activities in Texas and California,
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS
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Alligatorweed and waterhyacinth are two of the most troublesome aquatic plants in the United States. In research sponsored by the Corps of Engineers Aquatic Plant Control Research Program APCRP three insects were identified for alligatorweed control, the alligatorweed flea beetle Agasicles hygrophila Selman and Vogt, the alligatorweed stem borer Vogtia malloi Pastrana, and the alligatorweed thrips Amynothrips andersoni ONeill. Three insect species have also been identified by APCRP as biocontrol agents of waterhyacinth. These insects include the mottled waterhyacinth weevil Neochetina eichhorniae Warner, the chevroned waterhyacinth weevil Neochetina bruchi Hustache, and the Argentine waterhyacinth moth Sameodes albiguttalis Warren. Discussion of aquatic weed problems between the U.S. Army Engineer District, Galveston, and the Waterways Experiment Station WES resulted in a proposal being a submitted by WES to assist in controlling aquatic weed problems for the Galveston District. A framework for introduction and evaluation of all insect species was established. Previously introduced insect species in alligatorweed would also be investigated, with special emphasis placed on the determination of environmental factors that may be limiting the effectiveness of these insects in controlling alligatorweed.