21 May Parkinsonia aculeata (Parkinsonia)
Parkinsonia aculeata (Parkinsonia)
Parkinsonia is a thorny leguminous shrub native to the hot and dry regions of North, Central and South America. In Australia, P. aculeata is recognized as one of the 20 worst weeds and considered a weed of national significance due to its impact on the environment and agricultural production.
Native-range surveys in Argentina revealed the presence of two leaf-feeding moths: Eueupithecia cisplatensis Prout and Eueupithecia vollonoides Hausmann (Lepidoptera: Geometridae). After extensive field and laboratory host range studies, Eueupithecia spp. were approved for release in Australia for the biological control of Parkinsonia. We are currently studying the biology and host specificity of the stem-galling midge, Neolasioptera aculeatae Gagné (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) to evaluate its potential as a biocontrol agent of Parkinsonia in Australia.
Raghu Sathyamurthy y Michelle Rafter, CSIRO, Australia.