Visual Plant Differentiation by the Milfoil Weevil, Euhrychiopsis lecontei Dietz (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
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Euhrychiopsis lecontei Dietz (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is an aquatic weevil native to the northern United States that specializes on plants in the genus Myriophyllum (milfoils). Euhrychiopsis lecontei is currently being used in the U.S. as a biological control agent for the invasive Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.: Haloragaceae; Newman 2004). The weevil has expanded its host range to include M. spicatum since the plant’s introduction from Eurasia in the 1940s. Field and laboratory studies have shown that E. lecontei reduces M. spicatum densities, and also prefers M. spicatum over other (native) milfoils (see Newman 2004 for summary of E. lecontei life history and use as a biological control agent).
Euhrychiopsis lecontei can use visual cues for plant location (Reeves et al. 2009). However, during no-choice plant differentiation trials, weevils were attracted to both M. spicatum and coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum L.: Ceratophyllaceae; Reeves et al. 2009)...
KeywordsHost-plant location insect vision choice vs. no-choice trials insect behavior aquatic
We thank EnviroScience, Inc. (Stow, OH; www.EnviroScienceinc.com) for donating the weevils and plants used in these experiments. We also thank three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.
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