n African Entomology - Prospective agents for the biological control of (Mill.) S.F. Blake and (Hemsl.) A. Gray (Asteraceae) in South Africa

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



Starting in 2007, two weedy sunflower species, (Mill.) S.F. Blake and (Hemsl.) A. Gray (Asteraceae: Heliantheae), were targeted for biological control in South Africa. Surveys conducted in their native range (Mexico) revealed that there were five potential biological control agents for , and three of these are currently undergoing host-specificity and performance evaluations in South Africa. Two leaf-feeding beetles, (Stål) and (Stål) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), are the most promising biological control agents for : preliminary host-specificity trials suggest that they are adequately host-specific. The stem-boring beetle, Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is also highly damaging to , but its host range is yet to be determined. Two other stem-boring beetles, Thomson (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and Chevrolat (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), have also been recorded on , and these will be considered for further testing if is found to be unsuitable for release in South Africa. Only two insect species were imported as candidate agents on , the leaf-feeding butterfly sp. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), and an unidentified stem-boring moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae): the latter was tested in quarantine but rejected because it attacked several sunflower cultivars. Only one pathogen, Dietel & Holw. (Uredinales: Pucciniaceae), was found that could potentially have been used as a biological control agent against the species, but attempts to culture this rust were unsuccessful.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error