Gargaphia decoris (weed bioagent)

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Gargaphia decoris female (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): S.E. Thorpe
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Gargaphia decoris (weed bioagent) Drake, 1931 - (woolly nightshade lace bug)

This lace bug is a biological control agent of the invasive tree/shrub Solanum mauritianum. The weed and the lace bug are native to South America. Gargaphia decoris has been released in South Africa (starting 1995) and New Zealand (starting 2010) under classical biological control programs.

The feeding activities of Gargaphia decoris result in white chlorotic spots on the leaves, with heavy infestations leading to premature leaf drop, reduced growth and possible plant death. The lace bug has a short life span with one generation lasting around 6 weeks.