n African Entomology - Biological control of cactaceae in South Africa

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



This review is a summary of developments that have contributed to the success of several biological control programmes against invasive cactus species (Cactaceae) that have been worked on in South Africa over the last 12 years. Six potential biological control agents have been identified for the control of Mill. and molecular studies have identified the origin of the South African P. aculeata population. Host-specificity testing is now required for the three most promising of these agents. The successful biological control programme against (Haw.) Haw. has resulted in a change in management strategies against this weed in the Kruger National Park and the control of is now almost entirely reliant on biological control. Taxonomic problems associated with the identification of var. (Engelm.) F.M.Knuth var. have been resolved and an appropriate cochineal insect (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) biotype has been released, resulting in substantial declines in var. populations. A long-term monitoring programme has been initiated to evaluate the progress of this new cochineal insect biotype. The Harrisia mealybug, Granara de Willink (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), which was originally released on (Labour.) Britton & Rose has been collected and redistributed onto DC., where it reduces fruit production and leads to the death of both seedlings and large plants. Resolving taxonomic problems to ensure the correct identification of plant species and the most appropriate biological control biotypes have been key issues that have led to the successful control of several cactaceous weed species in South Africa.

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