|Cristofaro, M - C.R. CASACCIA, ROME|
|Dolgovskaya, M - ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA|
|Reznik, S - BBCA-ONLUS, ROME|
|Volkovitsh, M - ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA|
Submitted to: Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2003
Publication Date: October 10, 2004
Citation: Cristofaro, M., Dolgovskaya, M.Y., Konstantinov, A.S., Reznik, S.Y., Volkovitsh, M.G. 2004. Psylliodes chalcomerus Illiger (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a flea beetle candidate for biological control of yellow starthistle Centaurea solstitialis. Biological Control of Weeds. 1:75-80 Interpretive Summary: Leaf beetles are among the most agriculturally important insects to the U.S. Many are serious pests feeding on crops and destroying valuable plants; others are important biological control agents that can be used to control noxious weeds. This paper reports results of a study on the biology, ecology, and taxonomy of a flea beetle which could be used as a biological control agent of yellow star thistle, one of the most important noxious weeds in the United States. The study will be useful to biological control workers, taxonomists, ecologists, and anyone interested in using phytophagous beetles to control yellow star thistle.
Technical Abstract: Yellow starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis, (YST) is an invasive noxious weed in the USA, Chile, Australia, and South Africa. Several insect species have been introduced against this weed, but with limited success. Thus, other biological agents are being sought. Among them a flea beetle, Psylliodes chalcomerus Illiger with stem-boring larvae and leaf-feeding adults, seems one of the most promising. Several biological forms of this species have been collected on different host plants (YST, Onopordum, Carduus, and Centaurea). Biological and morphological features of the Psylliodes forms have been studied in the field and laboratory. These studies suggested that each of the forms is closely connected with the specific plant. Statistical treatment revealed negative correlation between mean plant biomass and insect infestation, suggesting high efficiency for biocontrol.