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Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Does Not Feed on Jamaican Nightshade Solanum jamaicense (Solanaceae)

Florida Entomologist
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  • Biology


Scientific Notes 121 GRATIANA BOLIVIANA (COLEOPTERA: CHRYSOMELIDAE) DOES NOT FEED ON JAMAICAN NIGHTSHADE SOLANUM JAMAICENSE (SOLANACEAE) W. A. O VERHOLT 1* , R. D IAZ 1 , L. M ARKLE 1 AND J. M EDAL 2 1 Biological Control Research and Containment Laboratory, Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2199 South Rock Rd., Fort Pierce, FL 34945 2 Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620 Jamaican nightshade, Solanum jamaicense Mill., is an exotic weed of pastures and rangelands and is native to the Caribbean, Central America, and tropical South America (D’Arcy 1974). Jamai- can nightshade is listed as a Category II invasive plant by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC 2007), and has been in Florida since at least 1930 when a specimen was collected near Saint Cloud in Osceola Co. (NYBG 2007). The weed is currently reported from Osceola, High- lands, Saint Lucie, and Orange counties (Wunder- lin & Hansen 2007), and although the plant is con- sidered to be rare (Wunderlin & Hansen 2003), lo- cally dense populations have been observed in oak/cabbage palm hammock areas in Saint Lucie and Osceola counties (W. A. O., unpublished data). A related species, Solanum viarum Dunal (tropi- cal soda apple), invaded Florida in 1988 (Mullahey et al. 1993), and quickly spread through Florida and into several other states in the southeastern USA. A chrysomelid leaf feeding beetle, Gratiana boliviana Spaeth, was first released in Florida in 2003 as a classical biological control agent of trop- ical soda apple, and has now been released at more than 160 locations in the state. Before the release of G. boliviana , Medal et al. (2002) conduc

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