Biology and life history of Argopistes tsekooni (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in China, a promising biological control agent of Chinese privet.
The biology and life history of Argopistes tsekooni Chen (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a potential biological control agent of Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense Lour., was studied under laboratory and outdoor conditions in Huangshan City of Anhui Province, China, in 2006. A. tsekooni larvae are leafminers that undergo three instars. The first two instars feed exclusively within the leaf. The third instar feeds within the leaf until larval development is complete and then falls to the ground where it burrows into the soil to pupate. Larval development is completed within a single mine. Adult A. tsekooni is also a foliage feeder, consuming 8.32 ± 0.96 mm² of privet leaf per day. A female lays an average of 27.8 ± 5.4 eggs within 30 d. A. tsekooni overwinters as an adult and had three overlapped generations in Anhui Province, an area similar in climate to Atlanta, GA. Biological attributes of A. tsekooni, such as high damage levels caused by larvae and adults and multiple overlapping generations per year, suggest that this flea beetle is a good candidate for biological control of Chinese privet in the United States.
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