Saturday, June 16, 2007

On Their Gourds

According to this story in the Saipan Tribune, the island of Saipan is having a serious gourd problem. Seems the ivy gourd (Coccinia grandis) is spreading throughout the Pacific island, where it has only been known since 2001. While Saipan originally responded quite quickly to the invasion of this aggressive vine, by releasing the biocontrol weevil Acythopeus cocciniae, a typhoon killed a lot of them off back in 2004. Now new beetles are being reared on the island Guam and shipped to Saipan when they are ready to be released.

Bonus points to the Saipan Times for using scientific names (though the presence of so many presumed Coccina typos on the 'nets confounds me).

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