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Author: Jennifer Forman Orth

Invading your brain since 2002.

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Nature Blog Network

Monday, May 05, 2008

Psyllid Sting  

The Telegraph has a report today about plans to introduce a biological control to Britain in the hopes of squashing the invasion of Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica, Reynoutria japonica, Polygonum cuspidatum, etc. etc.) in that country. This news is significant not because of the control (a sap-sucking insect) or the weed (perhaps the very bane of the UK) but for the fact that it would be the first introduced species ever approved for use as a biological control in Britain. The proposal still needs to go through a public review, so the psyllids would be on the attack no sooner than the summer of 2009. The insect in question appears to be Aphalara itadori, a psyllid that attacks knotweed stands in its native Japan. You can check out a photo of it here (scroll almost all the way down the page).

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Rock on! It's a step in the right direction, and a reason for hope.

By Anonymous mistressofscience, at 5/07/2008 01:56:00 AM  

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