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Australian broad-leaved paperbark tree
Melaleuca quinquenervia

Melaleuca in Florida
weevil, Oxyops vitiosa

The United States Department of Agriculture is funding research in Australia to find natural enemies of the Australian broad-leaved paperbark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia. In the last 30-40 years, it has spread to infest over 200,000 hectares in southern Florida causing extensive environmental and economic damage.

Two Australian insects which feed on paperbark have been released in Florida. The weevil, Oxyops vitiosa, released in late 1997, is well established in Florida, spreading rapidly and having a major impact on flowering and seed production. The sap-sucking psyllid, Boreioglycaspis melaleucae, was released early in 2002 and has established. Quarantine studies have been completed on a gall-fly and a petition for release has been submitted. Its release is planned for 2003.

Studies in Australia are now concentrating on new potential agents.

Supported by: The United States Department of Agriculture

weevil damage on Melaleuca