Host Specificity of Argopistes tsekooni (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a Potential Biological Control Agent of Chinese Privet
|Authors:||Yan Zhuo Zhang, James Hanula, Jiang Hua Sun|
|Station:||Southern Research Station|
|Source:||J. Econ. Ent. 101(4): 1148-1151|
Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense Lour., is a perennial semi-evergreen shrub that is a
serious invasive weed in the United States. Classical biological control offers the best hope for
controlling it in an economic, effective, and persistent way. Host speciÞcity of one of the most
promising biological control agents of Chinese privet, a ßea beetle, Argopistes tsekooni Chen (Coleoptera:
Chrysomelidae), was evaluated in China by using laboratory no-choice and choice tests on
13 species of Oleaceae and eight species in other families that have important economic value. In adult
no-choice survival and oviposition tests, the ßea beetle fed and survived for 30 d on Syringa oblata
Lindl., Jasminum nudiflorum Lindl., and three species in the genus Ligustrum. Females also oviposited
on these species, but only larvae from eggs laid on S. oblata and Ligustrum spp. developed successfully.
In addition, the beetles did not feed or oviposit on the species of economic importance. In choice tests,
adults preferred L. sinense for feeding and oviposition. These results show that A. tsekooni is relatively
host speciÞc and warrants further testing as a biocontrol agent of Chinese privet in the United States.