Investigations on the Host - Specificity of Epiblema Strenuana (Walker) (Lepidoptera:Tortricidae). Introduced for Biological Control Trials against Parthenium hysterophorus in India


Abstract

The host-specificity of Epiblema strenuana (Walker) (Lepidoptera:Tortricidae) of Mexican origin, introduced from Australia for biological control trails against Parthenium hysterophorus, was tested under quarantine conditions in Bangalore. A total of 49 species of plants belonging to 28 families were used for the studies. E. strenuana did not accept 31 of the test plants for feeding. Slight nibbling and survival of larvae for 4 days was noticed on ten species of plants, while feeding and survival for 6-11 days was observed on another 7 species of plants. The insect was found capable of completing development on niger, an important Oilseed crop in India, in addition to Parthenium. Hence the utility of E. strenuana in the biological control of Parthenium is very much limited in India.

Keywords

Epiblema strenuana, Bio-Control of Parthenium, Host Specificity.

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