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Title: Host Suitability Studies of the Moth, Pyrausta perelegans Hampson (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), as a Control Agent of the Forest Weed Banana Poka, Passiflora mollissima (HBK) Bailey, in Hawaii 
Author: Markin, George P; Nagata, Roddy F
Date: 2000-05
Publisher: Hawaiian Entomological Society
Citation: Markin GP, Nagata RF. 2000. Host suitability studies of the moth, Pyrausta perelegans Hampson (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), as a control agent of the forest weed banana poka, Passiflora mollissima (HBK) Bailey, in Hawaii. Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 34:149–159.
Abstract: Passiflora mollissima, locally known as banana poka, is a cultivated vine native to the higher Andes Mountains of northern South America. Introduced to Hawaii as an ornamental or for its fruit, the plant has escaped cultivation and become the most serious weed in our mountain rain forests. The South American pyralid moth, Pyrausta perelegans, was selected as a promising candidate for release in Hawaii as a
biological control agent. A detailed study was conducted on its biology and feeding
behavior under quarantine conditions in Hawaii. These tests indicate that this insect has closely co-evolved with banana poka and cannot survive and reproduce on any
agricultural or native Hawaiian plants or any of the other species of Passiflora presently found in Hawaii, including the commercially grown passion flower (Passiflora edulis). The results of these tests were submitted to Hawaii Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Branch with a request that this insect be approved for release as a biological control agent for Passiflora mollissima. Approval was granted by the Board of Agriculture on July 19, 1990 (Permit 11-91-H-4728). Subsequently, colonies of the insect were released on Hawaii in the Olaa Forest near Volcano Village and Laupahoehoe Forest Reserve, at Kula on Maui, and Kokee State Park on Kauai. It is presently confirmed to be established on the islands of Hawaii and Maui.
Pages/Duration: 12 pages
ISSN: 0073-134X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/8369
Keywords: biological control agents, Hawaii, host plants, host preferences, invasive species, Passiflora tripartita var. mollisima, Pyrausta perelegans, weed control

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