Schinus terebinthifolia (Brazilian peppertree)

Schinus terebinthifolia (Brazilian peppertree)


Brazilian peppertree (BP), Schinus terebinthifolius, native to South America, is an invasive weed in the USA, Australia and South Africa. The main objective of the project is to search for natural enemies of BP in South America 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. In 2019, Pseudophilothrips ichini (Hood) (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) was released in Florida for the biocontrol of BP. We are currently studying the biology and host specificity of the sawfly Heteroperreyia hubrichi (Hymenoptera: Pergidae), a potential biocontrol agent for BP.

Fernando Mc Kay

Greg Wheeler (USDA-ARS-Invasive Plant Research Lab, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA); Marcelo Diniz Vitorino (Universidade Regional de Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brasil).