Individual study: Lysathia n. sp.(Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a host-specific beetle for the control of the aquatic weed Myriophyllum aquaticum (Haloragaceae) in South Africa
Cilliers C. (1999) Lysathia n. sp.(Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a host-specific beetle for the control of the aquatic weed Myriophyllum aquaticum (Haloragaceae) in South Africa. Hydrobiologia, 415, 271-276
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Parrot’s feather: Biological control using herbivores
A field study from 1995 to 1998 in a river in South Africa (Cilliers 1999), reported reduced growth of parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum following the release of a South American leaf-feeding Lysathia beetle. Three months after beetle release nearly all emergent parrot’s feather shoots had been damaged by herbivory. After three years, 30% (558 out of 1251) of parrot’s feather shoots were damaged by the Lysathia beetle. Damaged plants had lower mean shoot length (10 cm vs 19 cm) and dry weight (63 g vs 187 g/m2) compared to undamaged plants. Herbivory was reduced during winter. A total of 120 adult Lysathia beetles were released into one river site. Herbivory was quantified in ten 0.1 m2 quadrats by counting the total number of shoots and the number of shoots with feeding damage. Sampling took place at intervals of four to six weeks for three years.
(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)