Biological Control with Insects: The Waterhyacinth Moth

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Material Information

Title:
Biological Control with Insects: The Waterhyacinth Moth
Physical Description:
Fact sheet
Creator:
Center, Ted D.
Publisher:
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Notes

Acquisition:
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status:
Published
General Note:
"Revised: May 2002"
General Note:
"SS AGR 140"

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID:
IR00004569:00001


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SS-AGR-140 Biological Control with Insects: The Waterhyacinth Moth 1 Ted D. Center, F. Allen Dray, and Vernon V. Vandiver, Jr.2 1. This document is SS AGR 140, one of a series of the Department of Agronomy, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Revised: May 2002. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Ted D. Center, Research Entomologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314; F. Allen Dray, Ecologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314; and Vernon V. Vandiver, Associate Professor and Extension Aquatic Weeds Specialist, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean. ( Sameodes albiguttalis (Warren) Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) Host : Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms-Laubach (Pontederiaceae) The eggs of Sameodes albiguttalis are small (ca. 0.3 mm), spherical, and creamy-white. When the larva is fully grown it seeks out a fairly large, relatively intact waterhyacinth leaf petiole and burrows into it. It excavates an elliptically shaped cavity in the middle of the petiole with a tunnel extending from one end. This tunnel leads from the cavity to just beneath the outside surface of the petiole but the end remains covered by the leaf epidermis. The larva then forms a cocoon that lines the cavity and extends up the tunnel. Soon afterwards, it sheds its last instar larval skin and pupates. After transformation is complete it breaks through the head end of the pupal skin, crawls through the silk-linedtunnel, and bursts through the leaf epidermis to exit from the petiole. The exit tunnel is necessary because the adults lack chewing mouthparts and could not otherwise escape from within the petiole. The adult moths frequently rest on the underside of waterhyacinth leaves. The females are generally darker in color than the males but color is extremely variable in both sexes. The adults probably live no more than a week to 10 days and many fall prey to dragonflies, spiders, lizards, frogs, and other predators. Mating occurs shortly after emergence from the pupa and the female lays the majority of her eggs the following night. An average female will deposit ca. 450 eggs but up to 600 is not unusual. The entire life cycle requires 3 to 4 weeks.