<I>Neomusotima fuscolinealis</I> (Lepidoptera: Pryalidae) is an Unsuitable Biological Control Agent of <I>Lygodium japonicum</I>

  • Christine A. Bennett
  • Robert W. Pemberton


In its native Japan Neomusotima fuscolinealis Yoshiyasu feeds on and damages the leaves of Lygodium japonicum (Thunberg ex Murray) Swartz, an invasive weed in Florida and the southeastern U.S. Larvae and pupae of the moth were imported into the quarantine facility at the Florida Biological Control Laboratory, Gainesville, Florida, to establish a colony for preliminary host range studies and to define its lifecycle and reproduction parameters. Larvae of the moth did not feed significantly nor develop on 5 tested rare, native Florida ferns. The rare North American native climbing fern, Lygodium palmatum (Bernhardi) Swartz, however, supported complete development of N. fuscolinealis, and 6 continuous generations of the moth were reared on the fern. Because the rare L. palmatum and the invasive L. japonicum co-occur in the US, the release of N. fuscolinealis could result in the harm to L. palmatum, a risk that makes the moth unsuitable as a potential biological control of L. japonicum.

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