Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New potential biocontrol for skunk vine identified

Date:
July 18, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A new beetle that could be used to control the invasive weed skunk vine has been identified.

ARS researchers have found a tiny insect in Thailand—Himalusa thailandensis—that may be a biological control for the invasive skunk vine.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Ted D. Center, ARS.

A new beetle that could be used to control the invasive weed skunk vine has been identified by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators.

Related Articles


The insect, named Himalusa thailandensis, was found in Thailand by entomologists Bob Pemberton (now retired), with the ARS Invasive Plants Research Laboratory (IPRL) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Tony Wright, with the ARS Australian Biological Control Laboratory (ABCL) in Brisbane, Australia; and Amporn Winotai, a cooperator with the Thailand Department of Agriculture.

Subsequent study by research leader Ted Center and entomologist Paul Pratt, both with IPRL, and Canadian and Italian cooperators showed this is the first record of the genus Himalusa for Thailand. The insect is only the second described Himalusa species so far; the first Himalusa insect was found in a region of the Himalayas in Nepal.

The tiny, black beetle only measures one-tenth of an inch long, but it packs a punch. It was found feeding on a species of skunk vine closely related to two skunk vine species invading the southern United States. Himalusa species belong to a group of insects that are normally scavengers or predators, so finding a plant-feeding species is a unique discovery.

The adult beetles feed near the leaf mid-vein of the skunk vine plant, gnawing holes the size of their bodies. They also scrape nearby leaf tissues from this refuge, which blacken and decay, producing significant levels of foliar damage. The larvae burrow into and feed within the leaf stalks. As they grow, the stalks swell until they split and the larvae drop out to pupate in the soil.

Center and his team are currently defining the insect's host range and further studying its biology. Preliminary results show that the beetle is specific to skunk vines. There are no native species of skunk vine in the United States, so H. thailandensis could be a promising biocontrol for this invasive weed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Stephanie Yao. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "New potential biocontrol for skunk vine identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100713111736.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, July 18). New potential biocontrol for skunk vine identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100713111736.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "New potential biocontrol for skunk vine identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100713111736.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins