Biocontrol Science and Technology (2015) 25, 613-628

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Peter K. Jones, Royce H. Holtkamp, William A. Palmer and Michael D. Day (2015)
The host range of three biotypes of Dactylopius tomentosus (Lamarck) (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) and their potential as biological control agents of Cylindropuntia spp. (Cactaceae) in Australia
Biocontrol Science and Technology 25 (6), 613-628
Abstract: The host range of two newly imported biotypes of Dactylopius tomentosus and their potential as biological control agents of Cylindropuntia spp. were investigated. A third biotype ('imbricata') of D. tomentosus previously released in Australia to control C. imbricata was also screened to determine if it will feed on other species of Cylindropuntia occurring in Australia. Efficacy trials were conducted to evaluate the ability of the biotypes to retard the growth or kill those plant species supporting development of four or more individuals in the host test trials. The host range of the three biotypes of D. tomentosus was restricted to the genus Cylindropuntia. However, the biotypes showed varying degrees of specificity within this genus. The 'imbricata' biotype was the only biotype to develop on Australian C. rosea provenances, albeit with a range of developmental success on all C. rosea provenances tested. The Spanish provenance supported the highest development success followed by Grawin (NSW), Lorne Station (NSW) while the least preferred was the Mexican provenance. The 'rosea' and 'cholla' biotypes were unsuitable candidates to control C. rosea in Australia. However, the efficacy trials showed that the 'cholla' biotype had a high impact on four of the eight naturalised Cylindropuntia species in Australia. This biotype established rapidly and the sustained feeding of one fecund female and her progeny killed potted plants of C. imbricata and C. fulgida at week 18. This biotype has the potential to be an effective agent against C. fulgida, C. imbricata, C. kleiniae and C. tunicata and, as a consequence, an application seeking its release in Australia has been lodged.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): William A. Palmer, Michael D. Day

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Cylindropuntia imbricata (weed)
Cylindropuntia rosea (weed)
Dactylopius tomentosus (weed bioagent) Cylindropuntia imbricata (weed)
Dactylopius tomentosus (weed bioagent) Cylindropuntia rosea (weed)