Tiger pear biocontrol
Tiger pear, along with all species of Opuntia cacti have been declared [Weeds of National Significance] http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/weeddetails.pl?taxon_id=82753) due to their invasive nature and negative impact on native flora and fauna. Tiger pear is drought resistant and found commonly in dry climates, riverbanks and pasture land. Tiger pear infestations pose danger to humans and animals as the cacti are covered in 25mm spines capable of causing injury. Three biocontrol agents have been released to control wheel cactus:
1. Cactoblastis Cactoblastis cactorum
2. Cochineal scale insect Dactylopius tapiacola
3. Stem-boring moth Tucumania tapiacola
The combined actions of these 3 biocontrol agents is expected to assist in the control and eventual eradication of tiger pear infestations in Australia. Of the three agents released, the cochineal scale insect and stem-boring moth have shown most promising results, while the cactoblastis has established on other preferred hosts and only feeds on tiger pear if its preferred common pear species are not present.
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Metadata last updated on 2019-04-03 09:37:21.0