Biological Control Technology Development: Overseas Surveys of Biocontrol Agents for Hydrilla,
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE FORT LAUDERDALE FL*
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The continued spread of hydrilla in the United States along with the environmental restrictions and high cost of herbicides to control this aquatic weed have led to increased interest in biological methods to control this pest. This report presents the preliminary findings at a 21-week trip 24 May-18 October 1983 to Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia, and India see Figure 1. This was the third in a series of overseas trips in search of natural enemies of hydrilla. Collecting at areas not visited during the previous two trips was emphasized during this trip. All three trips have been preliminary surveys. The objective has been to find as many hydrilla-damaging insect species as possible. The strategy for accomplishing this has been to collect at as many different hydrilla sites as time, funds, and local conditions will permit. Evaluation of any particular insect species host specificity and biological control potential will be done on future trips, which will emphasize intensive, long-term studies at selected countries.