oa African Entomology - Suitability of Metriona elatior (Klug) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) as a biological control agent for Solanum sisymbriifolium Lam. (Solanaceae)

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



A leaf-feeding tortoise beetle, Metriona elatior (Klug), was screened as a biological control agent for the weed Solanum sisymbriifolium Lam. in South Africa. Favourable biological characteristics of M. elatior include a high reproductive capacity, long-lived adults and several generations per year under laboratory conditions. Host range was investigated by larval survival, and host plant choice tests by adults. Larvae were successfully reared on 10 of 11native Solanum species tested, five exotic Solanum species (except S. sisymbriifolium) and on the economically important eggplant, S. melongena L. The adult females selected these native and exotic Solanum species, and eggplant as suitable for oviposition. Based on these results it was decided not to apply for release of this insect.

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