Phytophagous insects associated with Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae) in Argentina
Brazilian peppertree (BP), Schinus terebinthifolius, native to South America, is invasive weed in the USA, Australia and South Africa. In June 2004 an agreement for cooperation on Brazilian peppertree research was reached between FuEDEI and the Invasive Plant Research Laboratory (USDA-ARS, Fort Lauderdale, Fl., USA).
The objective was to search for natural enemies of BP and evaluate their potential as biocontrol agents for this invasive exotic weed. Surveys in northeastern Argentina revealed the presence of 40 phytophagous insects associated with BP, providing valuable biological diversity and species distribution information for Argentina. Unfortunately none have been considered for released due to concerns about the safety of these species which appeared during testing. The search and testing of new prospective agents continues to be our top priorities for the Brazilian pepper biological control project.
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