A seed-feeding insect showing promise in the control of a woody, invasive plant: the weevil Erytenna consputa on Hakea sericea (Proteaceae) in South Africa

Neser, S.; Kluge, R.L.

Proceedings of the VI International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds: 805-809


Accession: 001518871

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H. sericea, a fire-adapted woody plant from Australia, is an important weed in the species-rich vegetation of the Cape mountains. Prolific seed production may be regarded as the main reason for its success as an invasive plant. Larvae of E. consputa destroy immature fruits of the weed. The insect is strikingly adapted to its host and to surviving fires. The weevil was established in South Africa after the release of small numbers of field-collected, young adults from different climatic regions in Australia. Climatic matching was, however, not as important as host strain matching. Following establishment, E. consputa is greatly reducing seed accumulation by H. sericea and starting to suppress the dense regeneration of the weed.