Monday, December 10, 2007 - 10:41 AM

The effect of native spider predation on the saltcedar biological control beetle, Diorhabda elongata

Eric M. Knutson, and David Richman, New Mexico State University, EPPWS, Las Cruces, NM

Research has shown that introduction of the saltcedar beetle, Diorhabda elongata, is a useful biological control in the management of the invasive weed saltcedar (Tamarix sp). Native predators may play a role in limiting the beetle’s success in the southwest. One such predator group is spiders. The goal of this project is to investigate the role spiders inhabiting saltcedar have on D. elongata. The spider fauna on saltcedar through the season has been reasonably documented by field observations and collections. The next step is to isolate which of those spiders are potentially important predators of the beetle. Experiments were conducted in the laboratory, testing feeding different genera on adults and larva stages of the beetle. A list of the spider families, genera, and species found on saltcedar and results of the field and lab will be presented.

Species 1: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Diorhabda elongata (saltcedar beetle)