Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligator weed)

Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligator weed)


Alternanthera philoxeroides is an amphibian plant native to South America. It is considered a weed of agroecosystems and natural ecosystems in Argentina and in over 30 countries where it produces enormous damage. Different management strategies are used worldwide, from chemical to biological control.

The South American flea beetle Agasicles hygrophila is the most widely used biological control agent. However, there are variable results, even scarce  control in terrestrial or aquatic situations in temperate climates. Understanding this association in depth, both in the native environment in Argentina, and in the exotic environment (United States, China) will allow us to propose future management strategies using biological control with either this or other insects. Currently, research is focused on studying the history of the invasion of this species around the world, considering the genetic characteristics of both plants and insects.

Alejandro Sosa

Paul Pratt, ARS-EIWRU, Albany, California, EE.UU.
Xiaoyun Pan, Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, China
Nathan Harm, The US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, EE.UU.