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Clidemia hirta (L.) David Don -- Melastomataceae





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A shrub native to the West Indies and tropical South and Central America, Koster's curse became a serious introduced plant pest in Fiji.  After a survey of insects attacking C hirta and related Melastomataceae, Liothrips urichi Karny (Thysanoptera: Thripiidae) was chosen as a promising natural enemy, and its life history and host plant relationships were intensively studied in Trinidad during 1927-1928 (Goeden & Andrés 1999).  Potted C hirta infested with the thrips were shipped in cold storage to Fiji in 1930.  On arrival the thrips were transferred directly to plants in the field.  Field releases continued throughout 1930.  By 1932-1933 several hundred hectares of thrip stunted C. hirta had been overgrown by plant competitors of greater forage value.  Shaded and greatly weakened by thrips attack, these plants were soon defoliated and killed.  Regrowth was readily located and attacked by the thrips.  By 1937 the competitive ability f the weeds was permanently impaired by continued thrips attack except in a few shaded and wet areas, and successful biological control was attained (Simmonds 1937, Rao et al. 1971, Goeden 1978, Julien 1982). 


For details of biological control efforts and biologies of host plant and natural enemies, please see the following (Taylor 1928, Cook 1929, Simmonds 1931, 1930, 1932, 1933a,b; 1937; Fyfe 1936, Lever 1938, 1940, 1943, 1946; Hosaka & Thistle 1954, Krauss 1954, Weber 1954, Pemberton 1957, Davis 1966).



REFERENCES:          [Additional references may be found at:   MELVYL Library ]


Cook, W.  1929.  Some feeding experiments undertaken in Trinidad with Liothrips urichi (Karny).  Fiji Dept. Agric., Agric. J. 2:  85-92.


Davis, C. J.  1966.  Progress report:  biological control status of noxious weed pests in Hawaii--1965-1966.  Hawaii Dept. Agric. Rept.  4 p.


Fyfe, R. V.  1936.  The biological control of Clidemia hirta in Fiji.  Austral. Inst. Agric. Sci. J. 2:  8-9.


Goeden, R. D.  1978.  Part II:  Biological control of weeds, p. 357-545.  In:  C. P. Clausen (ed.), Introduced Parasites and Predators of Arthropod Pests and Weeds.  U. S. Dept. Agric. Handb. No. 480.


Goeden, R. D. & L. A. Andrés.  1999.  Biological control of weeds in terrestrial and aquatic environments.  In:  Bellows, T. S. & T. W. Fisher (eds.).  1999. Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.


Hosaka, E. Y. & A. Thistle.  1954.  Noxious plants of the Hawaiian ranges.  Hawaii Univ. Ext. Bull. 62:  1-39.


Julien, M. H. (ed.).  1982.  Biological control of weeds:  a world catalogue of agents and their target weeds, 1st ed.  Commonw. Agric. Bur., Slough, U.K.  108 p.


Krauss, N. L. H.  1954.  Miscellaneous notes.  Hawaii. Ent. Soc. Proc. 15, 1952: 264.


Lever, R. J. A. W.  1938.  Export of thrips to the Solomon Islands for controlling Clidemia.  Fiji Dept. Agric. Agric. J. 9:  18.


Lever, R. J. A. W.  1940.  Division of Entomology annual report for 1939.  Fiji Dept. Agric.  3 p.


Lever, R. J. A. W.  1941.  Entomological notes.  Fiji Dept. Agric. Agric J. 12:  45-50.


Lever, R. J. A. W.  1943a.  Division of Entomology.  Annual report for 1942.  Fiji Dept. Agric Agric. J. 14:  83-5.


Lever, R. J. A. W.  1943b.  Entomological services in Fiji.  Fiji Dept. Agric. Agric. J. 14:  92-7.


Lever, R. J. A. W.  1946.  Annual report of the entomologist for 1945.  Fiji Dept. Agric. Agric. J. 17:  42-3.


Pemberton, C. E.  1957.  Progress in the biological control of undesirable plants in Hawaii.  9th Pacific Sci. Cong. Proc. 9:  124-26.


Rao, V. P., M. A. Ghani, T. Sankaran & K. C. Mathur.  1971.  A review of the biological control of insects and other pests in south-east Asia and the Pacific Region.  Commonw. Inst. Biol. Contr. Tech. Commun. No. 6:  1-149.


Simmonds, H. W.  1930.  Mission to Trinidad--Introduction of Liothrips urichi.  Fiji Dept. Agric., Agric. J. 3:  55-67.


Simmonds, H. W.  1931.  Noxious weeds and their control in Fiji.  II.  Biological control.  Fiji Dept. Agric., Agric. J. 4:  29-31.


Simmonds, H. W.  1932.  Biologidcal control--Progress report.  Fiji Dept. Agric., Agric. J. 5:  21-2.


Simmonds, H. W.  1933a.  An investigation of the banana-scab moth, Nacoleia octasema Meyr., and its parasites, in Java and the introduction of one of its parasites into Fiji.  Breeding work in Fiji.  Fiji Dept. Agric., Agric. J. 6:  13-14.


Simmonds, H. W.  1933b.  Biological control of Clidemia hirta.  Fiji Dept. Agric., Agric. J. 6:  32-3.


Simmonds, H. W.  1933c.  The biological control of the weed Clidemia hirta D. Don, in Fiji.  Bull. Ent. Res. 34:  345-48.


Simmonds, H. W.  1937.  The biological control of the weed Clidemia hirta, commonly known in Fiji as "The Curse."  Fiji Dept. Agric., Agric. J. 8:  37-9.


Simmonds, H. W.  1937.  The biological control of the weed, Clidemia hirta, commonly known in Fiji as "the curse."  Agric. J. Dept. Agric., Fiji 8:  37-9.


Taylor, T. H. C.  1928.  Investigations in Trinidad on a parasite for "Clidemia hirta."  Fiji Dept. Agric., AGric. J. 1:  2-8.


Weber, P. W.  1954.  Recent liberations of beneficial insects in Hawaii.  Ent. Soc. Proc. 15:  369-70.