Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Miconia calvescens DC. (Melastomataceae) is an invasive tree considered one of the greatest threats to natural ecosystems of Hawaii and other Pacific islands. The potential for using the defoliator Antiblemma leucocyma (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) as a biological control agent of M. calvescens was evaluated in the native habitat of the insect in Brazil. Impact assessment in the field showed that 37.2% of leaves presented damage by A. leucocyma, and among damaged leaves, 1.5—51.9% of the leaf area (16.3% on average) was affected. Damage was found in young to fully expanded leaves (28—915 cm2 in area). Individual A. leucocyma developing as third through sixth instars in the laboratory consumed an average of 1348 cm2 of M. calvescens leaf material in about 11 days. Populations of A. leucocyma in the field were heavily impacted (up to 83% parasitism) by a braconid parasitoid. Observations in the field and single- and two-host choice tests in the laboratory indicated that A. leucocyma has a narrow host range restricted to M. calvescens. Usefulness of this herbivore for biological control in Hawaii appears low, however, because of its probable susceptibility to generalist parasitoids.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Badenes-Perez, F. R. and Johnson, M. T. (2008) Biology, herbivory, and host specificity of Antiblemma leucocyma (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Miconia calvescens DC. (Melastomataceae) in Brazil. Biocontrol Science and Technology 18(2):183-192


    biological control, biotic interference, leaf area, host specificity, population dynamics, weed management

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page