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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT & EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR INVASIVE SPECIES THREATENING THE EVERGLADES & OTHER NATURAL AND MANANGED SYSTEMS

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Title: Current status of the biological control agent Neomusotima conspurcatalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) on Lygodium microphyllum (Polypodiales: Lygodiaceae) in Florida

Authors
item Smith, Melissa
item Lake, Ellen
item Pratt, Paul
item Broughton, Anthony -
item Pemberton, Robert -

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 29, 2013
Publication Date: June 1, 2014
Citation: Smith, M., Lake, E.C., Pratt, P.D., Broughton, A.J., Pemberton, R.W. Current status of the biological control agent Neomusotima conspurcatalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) on Lygodium microphyllum (Polypodiales: Lygodiaceae) in Florida. Florida Entomologist. 97(2):817-820.2014.

Interpretive Summary: A biocontrol agent, Neomusotima conspurcatalis was released in 2008 to help control Lygodium microphyllum because it continues to invade habitats in Florida. We resurveyed previous release sites and followed-up on verbal reports of new populations. We found that several populations that we had thought had been extirpated by frost were thriving and that the moth has spread throughout much of south Florida, especially near release sites.

Technical Abstract: The brown Lygodium defoliating moth, Neomusotima conspurcatalis, was released beginning in 2008 to control Old World climbing fern. It readily established in Jonathan Dickinson State Park, but at other sites populations remained at low densities or were locally extirpated. In 2012 and 2013, we recovered N. conspurcatalis populations at all untreated original release sites except Everglades National Park. The original releases of 4000 or more individuals per site were entirely successful, pointing to a strategy that focuses on numbers at this target level or beyond for future releases in Florida.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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