Host specificity of Epiplema albida, a potential biological control agent for Sri Lankan privet in the Mascarene Islands

Epiplema albida was studied to assess its safety for use as a biological control agent for Sri Lankan privet

Abstract

Epiplema albida from Sri Lanka, was studied to assess its safety for use as a biological control agent for Sri Lankan privet, Ligustrum robustum subsp. walkeri (Oleaceae) in La Réunion and other Mascarene Islands. Larval no-choice feeding tests using newly hatched larvae, larval development tests, and multiple choice oviposition tests were used. Adult females of E. albida are shown to have highly selective oviposition behaviour and the species is physiologically restricted to very few hosts for feeding and development. The risk to key test plants in La Réunion is minimal, so this species can be considered for use as a biological control agent there, but would need further evaluation for potential use elsewhere.

Citation

Shaw, R.H. and Cock, M.J.W. (2017) Host specificity of Epiplema albida, a potential biological control agent for Sri Lankan privet in the Mascarene Islands. Insects 8(77), 1–11.

Host specificity of Epiplema albida, a potential biological control agent for Sri Lankan privet in the Mascarene Islands

Published 1 July 2017