Colorado Department of Agriculture
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Leafy Spurge

Biological Pest Control Program
LEAFY SPURGE (Euphorbia esula )                                  

In 1989, two leafy spurge biocontrol agents, Aphthona flava and Aphthona nigriscutis, were obtained from collections in Canada and Europe. The adults of these flea beetles defoliate the spurge plants while the larvae feed on the roots. In 1991, a third flea beetle species, Aphthona cyparissiae, was obtained from Canada and released.  In 1992, a long-horned beetle, Oberea erythrocephala, was obtained and released. The adults of the beetle feed on the aboveground parts of the plant while the larvae bore into the stem and root crown.  In 1993, a fourth flea beetle, Aphthona czwalinae\lacertosa, was obtained and released in the State. The larvae of A. czwalinae\lacertosa  feed on the roots and the adults feed on the leaves of leafy spurge. A final flea beetle species, Aphthona abdominalis, was released in 1996. This is the smallest of the flea beetles and causes similar damage to the plants as the other Aphthona species.  Aphthona nigriscutis, A. cyparissiae and A. czwalinae\lacertosa have all become established at field insectary sites and can be collected in large numbers. These beneficial organisms are now available for redistribution in the state and can be obtained by requesting releases through the Department of Agriculture.        

Leafy Spurge Images

A picture of Leafy Spurge, a noxious weed   A picture of Leafy Spurge, a noxious weed   A picture of Leafy Spurge, a noxious weed

 

Aphthona cyparissiae

Photos by: USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, bugwood.org

aphthona cyparissia USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org aphtona cyparissia USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org 2

 

Aphthona czwalinae

Photos by: L.L. Berry, bugwood.org; USDA AHPIS, USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ

Aphthona czwalinae L.L. Berry, bugwood.org Aphthona czwalinae USDA APHIS bugwood.org

 

Aphthona lacertosa

Photos by: Todd Pfeiffer, Klamath County Weed Control; USDA ARS Archive, USDA Agricultural Research, USDA APHIS PPQ Archive.

ahpthona lacertosa   Todd Pfeiffer, Klamath County Weed Control, Bugwood.org ahpthona lacertosa  USDA ARS Archive, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org ahpthona lacertosa USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

 

Aphthona flava  

Photos by: Colorado Department of Agriculture, USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, bugwood.org; Norman E. Rees, USDA Agricultural Research Service; L.L. Berry, bugwood.org

a_flava_adult  leafy spurge beetle A. Flava USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org A. flava Norman E. Rees, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org A. flava L.L. Berry, , Bugwood.org

 

Aphthona nigriscutis

Photos by: Neal Spencer, USDA Agricultural Research Services, Norman E. Rees, USDA Agricultural Research Services, USDA AHPIS PPQ Archive, bugwood.org

A. nigriscutis Neal Spencer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org A. nigriscutis Norman E. Rees, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org A. nigriscutis USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

 

Oberea erythrocephala

not yet available

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