BioControl (2013) 58, 703-713

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Melanie L. Haines, Rowan M. Emberson, Andy Sheppard, Pauline Syrett, Toni M. Withers and Susan P. Worner (2013)
Implications of individual variation in insect behavior for host specificity testing in weed biocontrol
BioControl 58 (5), 703-713
Abstract: This study shows that individual behavioral variation is an under-recognised source of error that may affect the outcome of host range tests in a stenophagous species. Original specificity testing of the broom seed beetle, Bruchidius villosus (F.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae), a biocontrol agent for Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link (Fabaceae: Genisteae), failed to detect its ability to oviposit in the field on a congeneric non-target plant, the exotic Cytisus proliferus L.f. (Fabaceae: Genisteae). These tests were repeated using individual beetles from the original UK collection sites and from New Zealand, 15 generations post release. In the original tests, low replication of small batches of females masked high levels of individual variation in oviposition preference. Although most beetles showed strong preference for the target weed, there was some indication that New Zealand beetles showed higher preference for the non-target than UK beetles.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website


Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
non-target effects/fate in environm.


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Cytisus scoparius (weed) United Kingdom
Cytisus scoparius (weed) New Zealand
Bruchidius villosus (weed bioagent) Cytisus scoparius (weed) United Kingdom
Bruchidius villosus (weed bioagent) Cytisus scoparius (weed) New Zealand