Ceratapion basicorne (Coleoptera: Apionidae) is a prospective biological control agent of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis, Asteraceae: Cardueae), which is an important invasive alien weed in the western United States. Previous studies have shown that it is possible for this insect to oviposit on and complete development on safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) under no-choice laboratory conditions; however, it has never been reported as a pest of safflower. Field experiments were conducted at three sites in eastern Turkey during 3 years to evaluate the risk of attack on safflower by this insect in its native range. At two sites where C. basicorne was the only apionid observed, no safflower plants were attacked despite high attack rates on yellow starthistle test plants (48-98% of plants infested). At a third site, where C. basicorne and three other species in the same genus; C. scalptum, C. orientale, and C. onopordi were present, 8-26% of safflower plants were infested, but none of the insects reared from safflower during 3 years were C. basicorne. Other authors have reported rearing C. basicorne from field-collected plants of only Ce. solstitialis, Ce. cyanus, Ce. depressa, and Cnicus benedictus. Our results indicate that C. basicorne does not attack safflower under field conditions and that its introduction would not pose a risk to this crop.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Insect Science
Smith, L., Hayat, R., Cristofaro, M., Tronci, C., Tozlu, G., & Lecce, F. (2006). Assessment of risk of attack to safflower by Ceratapion basicorne (Coleoptera: Apionidae), a prospective biological control agent of Centaurea solstitialis (Asteraceae). Biological Control, 36(3), 337 - 344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2005.11.001