n African Entomology - Potential agents for the biological control of (L.) Juss ex Kunth var. (Bignoniaceae) in South Africa

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



(L.) Juss ex Kunth var. (Bignoniaceae), known as yellow bells, was introduced into South Africa as an ornamental plant and now invades roadsides, urban open spaces, watercourses and rocky sites in the subtropical and tropical areas of six South African provinces, and neighbouring countries. Although deemed to be an 'emerging weed', has considerable potential to extend its range because it is still common in South African gardens and its seeds are easily dispersed by wind. Mechanical and chemical control methods are not economically feasible as the plant tends to re-grow, thus requiring expensive follow-up treatments. Biological control research on has been ongoing since 2003, when pathogens were the focus as agents, with insects included since 2005. Five candidate agents have so far been tested in South Africa, with one, Bosc (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), deemed unsuitable for release, one, (Ellis & Everh.) Cummins (Pucciniales: Uropyxidaceae), released initially in November 2010, and another, sp. (Diptera: Agromyzidae), currently awaiting approval for release by the regulatory authorities. One candidate agent, (Mulsant) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), is still under investigation in quarantine. The last potential agent, a root-feeding flea beetle, sp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), was brought into South Africa but the culture did not establish in quarantine.

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