Next Article in Journal
Locust Bacterial Symbionts: An Update
Previous Article in Journal
Morphological and Spatial Diversity of the Discal Spot on the Hindwings of Nymphalid Butterflies: Revision of the Nymphalid Groundplan
Open AccessArticle

The Biology of Casmara subagronoma (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae), a Stem-Boring Moth of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Myrtaceae): Descriptions of the Previously Unknown Adult Female and Immature Stages, and Its Potential as a Biological Control Candidate

1
USDA-ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA
2
USDA-ARS Systematic Entomology Lab, Beltsville, MD 20013-7012, USA
3
USDA-ARS Australian Biological Control Laboratory, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity, Dutton Park, QLD 4102, Australia
4
USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
5
USDA-ARS, Western Regional Research Center, Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, CA 94710, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(10), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11100653
Received: 27 August 2020 / Revised: 10 September 2020 / Accepted: 16 September 2020 / Published: 23 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa is a perennial woody shrub throughout Southeast Asia. Due to its prolific flower and fruit production, it was introduced into subtropical areas such as Florida and Hawai’i, where it is now naturalized and invasive. In an effort to find sustainable means to control R. tomentosa, a large-scale survey was mounted for biological control organisms. During these surveys, we found Casmara subagronoma, a stem-boring moth in Hong Kong and began to test its host affinity to R. tomentosa. Casmara subagronoma is only known from two male specimens from Vietnam and Indonesia, so in addition to host range tests, we also describe the female and immature life stages in this manuscript. Casmara subagronoma completes its life cycle in nearly 18 months and requires large, whole plants to do so. While R. tomentosa is likely the preferred host, C. subagronoma also completed its development on Myrcianthes fragrans, a Florida native, and Myrtus communis. The knowledge gained about this genus and its biology are quite valuable, but C. subagronoma will not be pursued for a biological control agent due to its long life cycle, difficult rearing protocols, and potentially broad host range.
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa is a perennial shrub native to Southeast Asia and is invasive in South Florida and Hawai’i, USA. During surveys of R. tomentosa in Hong Kong from 2013–2018 for potential biological control agents, we collected larvae of the stem borer, Casmara subagronoma. Larvae were shipped in stems to a USDA-ARS quarantine facility where they were reared and subjected to biology studies and preliminary host range examinations. Casmara subagronoma is the most recent Casmara species to be described from males collected in Vietnam and Indonesia. Because the original species description was based on only two male specimens, we also provide a detailed description of the female, egg, larva, and pupa. Finally, we conducted preliminary host range trials utilizing Myrtus communis, Myrcianthes fragrans, and Camellia sinensis. Casmara subagronoma emerged from M. fragrans, a Florida-native shrub, and larvae were able to survive in non-target stems for over a year (>400 days). Based on these findings and difficulty in rearing, we do not believe C. subagronoma is a suitable insect for biological control of R. tomentosa at this time, but may warrant further study. This investigation also illustrates the importance of host surveys for conservation and taxonomic purposes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Casmara subagronoma; Rhodomyrtus tomentosa; stem borer; biological control of weeds; Myrtaceae; Gelechioidea Casmara subagronoma; Rhodomyrtus tomentosa; stem borer; biological control of weeds; Myrtaceae; Gelechioidea
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Wineriter-Wright, S.A.; Smith, M.C.; Metz, M.A.; Makinson, J.R.; Brown, B.T.; Purcell, M.F.; Barr, K.L.; Pratt, P.D. The Biology of Casmara subagronoma (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae), a Stem-Boring Moth of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Myrtaceae): Descriptions of the Previously Unknown Adult Female and Immature Stages, and Its Potential as a Biological Control Candidate. Insects 2020, 11, 653.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop