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Insects 2017, 8(3), 77; doi:10.3390/insects8030077

Host Specificity of Epiplema albida: A Potential Biological Control Agent for Sri Lankan Privet in the Mascarene Islands

CABI, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey TW20 9TY, UK
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Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
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Abstract

Epiplema albida (Hampson) (Lepidoptera: Uraniidae, Epipleminae) from Sri Lanka, was studied to assess its safety for use as a biological control agent for Sri Lankan privet, Ligustrum robustum subsp. walkeri (Oleaceae) in La Réunion and other Mascarene Islands. Larval no-choice feeding tests using newly hatched larvae, larval development tests, and multiple choice oviposition tests were used. Adult females of E. albida are shown to have highly selective oviposition behaviour and the species is physiologically restricted to very few hosts for feeding and development. The risk to key test plants in La Réunion is minimal, so this species can be considered for use as a biological control agent there, but would need further evaluation for potential use elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ligustrum robustum subsp. walkeri; Lepidoptera; Uraniidae; Epipleminae; Oleaceae; La Réunion Ligustrum robustum subsp. walkeri; Lepidoptera; Uraniidae; Epipleminae; Oleaceae; La Réunion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shaw, R.H.; Cock, M.J.W. Host Specificity of Epiplema albida: A Potential Biological Control Agent for Sri Lankan Privet in the Mascarene Islands. Insects 2017, 8, 77.

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