Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Mothman Prophecy...not good

The leaf-rolling moth (Tortrix) spp., a biocontrol introduced to Australia to combat the invasive bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), is not doing as well as was first hoped. According to this story in the Bega District News, this is mainly due to drought conditions in many regions where the bush has invaded. The lack of water makes the leaves tough and less nutritious, so that the moth larvae cannot thrive. To make matters worse, the drought conditions have led to decreases in numbers of all types of insects, so ants and spiders have been feasting on the introduced moth larvae. The article also has information about other bitou bush biocontrols (bonus points to the BDN for using scientific names).

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