Elena V. Aistova, Vitaliy G. Bezborodov, Tatyana O. Markova, Mikhail V. Maslov, Lyubov A. Fedina


Currently, invasive species spreading is becoming a key problem on the global scale. Scope of invasive species control get solved at governmental level in many countries; hundreds of billions dollars a year are allocated as financial support; global programs are created. For the first time, biological control of invasive species Ambrosia artemisiifolia using an introduced phytophage insect was applied in Russia (former USSR) in the 60-70s years of the 20th century and it remains a unique large-scale example until to nowadays. Ambrosia leaf beetle (Zygogramma suturalis (Fabricius, 1775) was brought to the Russian Far East for biological control of Ambrosia artemisiifolia in the 80-90s years of the 20th century for the first time, however the targeted result was not achieved. At present, Zygogramma suturalis were adapted at the Primorskii Krai in the south of the Far East, but due to climatic conditions its numbers are low and, as a result, the impact on ambrosia is minimal. The search for native insect species with capable of effectively suppressing the spread of aggressive quarantine weed in local conditions remains in the area of focus. At the moment, two species of native leaf beetles have been identified, using Ambrosia as an additional element in the diet. Climate changes and the shift of biogeographic boundaries cause the natural expansion of the areals of some East Asian insect species to the north within the Russian Far East. Bug-edge Molipteryx fuliginosa (Uhler, 1860) is one of such species. Expanding the area to the north and east, the species also corrects trophic preferences. As a result of our research in the south of Primorskii Krai, the trophic relations of Molipteryx fuliginosa were studied in the field conditions and in rearing cages. The same work was carried out in places where Ambrosia artemisiifolia were growing in a great number. For insects observing were used standard methods. As a result, firstly was established and confirmed that the bug-edge uses Ambrosia artemisiifolia as a feed plant only in select developmental stages, including imago. The feeding of larvae of IV – V ages was noted in natural conditions. The long-time Molipteryx fuliginosa development cycle on ambrosia leads to break the course of normal plant ontogenesis and causes wilting of individual organs.

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