Biocontrol Science and Technology (2016) 26, 691-706

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M.D. Day, N. Riding and K.A.D.W. Senaratne (2016)
The host specificity and climatic suitability of the gall fly Cecidochares connexa (Diptera: Tephritidae), a potential biological control agent for Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae) in Australia
Biocontrol Science and Technology 26 (5), 691-706
Abstract: The gall fly Cecidochares connexa (Diptera: Tephritidae) is a potential biological control agent for Chromolaena odorata in Australia. Its host specificity was determined against 18 species in the tribe Eupatorieae (Family Asteraceae) in which C. odorata belongs, in quarantine in Brisbane, Australia. Oviposition occurred and flies developed on only C. odorata and Praxelis clematidea, both of which are in the subtribe Praxelinae. P. clematidea is considered a weed outside tropical America. In both multiple-species-minus-C. odorata choice tests and single-species no-choice tests, the mean number of galls/plant was significantly greater on C. odorata (48 and 41, respectively) than on P. clematidea (2 and 9, respectively). There were also significantly more adults emerging from C. odorata (mean 129 and 169, respectively) in the two types of tests than from P. clematidea (1 and 8, respectively). Paired choice, multiple generation (continuation) and time dependent tests further clarified the extent that C. connexa could develop on P. clematidea. In these tests, the mean number of galls formed and the mean number of emerging adults were consistently less for P. clematidea than C. odorata and populations of C. connexa could not be maintained on P. clematidea. Galls were not seen on any other plant species tested. This study supports the results of host specificity testing conducted in seven other countries and confirms that C. connexa poses little risk to other plant species in Australia. C. connexa has been released in 10 countries and an application seeking approval to release in Australia has been submitted to the Australian Government.
(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): Michael D. Day

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


Pest and/or beneficial records:

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


Chromolaena odorata (weed)
Cecidochares connexa (weed bioagent) Chromolaena odorata (weed)