Original Research

Eriophyid mites (Acari: Eriophyoidea: Eriophyidae) as possible control agents of undesirable introduced plants in South Africa

C. Craemer
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 15, No 3 | a641 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v15i3.641 | © 1996 C. Craemer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 July 1996 | Published: 11 July 1996

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Abstract

Eriophyid mites are probably present on most higher plants and generally show a high degree of host specificity. A few are sufficiently damaging to be considered for use in control programmes against unwanted plants. General interest in using eriophyids for weed control developed only recently. Five eriophyid species have already been used, generally successfully, in weed control programmes in other countries. Eriophyid mites have not yet been utilized as weed control agents in South Africa. Seventeen species causing appre­ciable damage, which may be of value in the biological control of 12 alien, invasive plants in South Africa are listed and discussed. The weeds are: Acacia saligna (Port Jackson), Acroptilon repens (Russian knapweed), Cardaria draba (hoary cress), Chromolaena odorata (triffid weed), Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed), Cuscuta epithymum (dodder), Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort), Lantana camara (lantana), Melia azedarach (syringa), Opuntia inermis (prickly-pear), Solanum elaeagnifolium(silverleaf nightshade), S. mauritianum (bugweed), and Spartium junceum (Spanish broom). Some of these eriophyids warrant special investigation as possi­ble weed control agents in South Africa.

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