Gall-inducing insects and biological control of Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae)

S.K. FlorentineA,B, A. RamanA and K. DhileepanB

A The University of Sydney - Orange, PO Box 883, Orange, New South Wales 2800, Australia

B Tropical Weeds Research Centre, Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 187, Charters Towers, Queensland 4820, Australia.


Weeds invade agricultural ecosystems and degrade productive land. Parthenum hysterophorus, introduced accidentally into Australia from the United States of America, not only affects productive land, but also causes severe health problems to humans. Since gall-inducing arthropods are increasingly becoming useful in weed management campaigns, we discuss in this paper the benefits of using gall-inducing insects in the biological control of weeds, targeting P. hysterophorus which is a major problem weed in Queensland. We evaluate the capability of two gall-inducing insects against P. hysterophorus. The gall-inducing moth, Epiblema strenuana and the gall-inducing weevil, Conotrachelus albocinereus display significant morphological and physiological impacts on P. hysterophorus indicating them to be effective organisms for use in biological control in Australia.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2001) 16 (2) 63-68.