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Classical Biocontrol

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Classical Biological Control

Classical biocontrol in Australia has some remarkable achievements with many organisations, Commonwealth and State, involved in the research.

Cactoblastis cactorum on prickly pear
Rust fungus on skeleton weed
Parasitic wasp on spotted alfalfa aphid
Dung beetle
  • 1930s - control of prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) by Cactoblastis cactorum
  • 1970s - control of narrow leaf form of skeleton weed using a rust fungus
  • 1970s and early 1980s - control of spotted alfalfa aphid in lucerne by parasitic wasps
  • 1960s to 1980s - dung beetles to bury dung. Stopped pest flies breeding and pasture fouling

There have also been disappointments. Efforts to control lantana started in 1910 and 28 agents have been introduced, with minimal impact.

Insects to control pest invertebrates
Insects to control weeds

Introduced (in Australia)
a Green vegetable bug
a Mediterranean snails

Introduced (Overseas)
a Banana skipper
a Bread fruit mealybug

Environmental weeds  
Bushland Aquatic
a Bridal creeper a Water hyacinth
a Bitou bush a Salvinia
Australian plants sometimes become pests overseas e.g. broad-leaved paperbark, Old World climbing fern in the USA.
Conservation biocontrol
a Cotton beneficials
Agricultural weeds
a Paterson's curse
a Thistles