South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353
IMPSON, F.A.C.; KLEINJAN, C.A.; HOFFMANN, J.H. and POST, J.A.. Dasineura rubiformis (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a new biological control agent for Acacia mearnsii in South Africa. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2008, vol.104, n.7-8, pp.247-249. ISSN 1996-7489.
Acecidomyiid midge, Dasineura rubiformis, is the most recent addition to the suite of biological control agents that have been deployed in South Africa against invasive Australian Acacia species. This insect is associated with Acacia mearnsii (black wattle), which is extremely invasive, but also an important agro-forestry species, in South Africa. It induces development of galls in the flowers of A. mearnsii, thereby preventing pod development and reducing the reproductive capacity of the plants. The useful attributes of this economically important plant species should not be affected by the introduction of D. rubiformis. The midge is established in the vicinity of Stellenbosch, where it is increasing in abundance. Studies have been initiated to (i) evaluate the performance of the midge; (ii) confirm that galling does not cause a reduction in vegetative growth of A. mearnsii; and (iii) determine the potential effectiveness of D. rubiformis as a biological control agent of A. mearnsii. All indications are that the insect has the potential to become an excellent seed-reducing biological control agent of A. mearnsii.