New Establishment and County Records for Diorhabda spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Coniatus splendidulus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the Texas Panhandle and Western Oklahoma
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Cooperative projects by various national and state agencies in the last 10 years have resulted in the establishment of an effective saltcedar (Tamarisk sp.) biological control agent, the tamarisk beetle (Diorhabda spp.). Three species of tamarisk beetles have been established in different regions of Texas, typically based on their climatic adaptation. The beetles defoliate saltcedar over multiple seasons, weakening and, during 3 to 5 years, eliminating large stands of this invasive plant. Another saltcedar biological control agent, the splendid tamarisk weevil, Coniatus splendidulus F., is also established in the United States from undocumented introductions. Surveys of saltcedar for evidence of biological control in the eastern Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma during the summer of 2012 following landowner reports of beetle infestations, and previous release efforts along the Canadian River in Texas resulted in new state and county records for Diorhabda carinata (Faldermann), D. elongata (Brullé), and C. splendidulus F. D. carinata × D. elongata hybrids were recorded for the first time in Oklahoma, from five western counties. In Texas, hybrids of D. carinata × D. elongata, D. carinata, D. elongata, and C. splendidulus were recorded from five, 16, one, and three eastern Panhandle counties, respectively. A history of the release efforts for establishment of Diorhabda spp. from 2004-2010 in the Texas Panhandle is included.
author list (cited authors)
Michels, G. J., Royer, T. A., Jones, E. N., Lange, R. A., Bynum, E. D., Ruthven, D. C., Tracy, J. L., & Bible, J. B.