ESA Southeastern Branch Meeting Online Program

Assessing the efficacy of Cricotopus lebetis Sublette (Diptera: Chironomidae) for controlling Hydrilla verticillata (L.f.) Royle in theWacissa river

Monday, March 4, 2013
Heidelberg Ballroom (Hilton Baton Rouge)
Eutychus M. Kariuki , Center for Biological Control, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Raymond L. Hix , Center for Biological Control, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
James P. Cuda , Department of Entomology & Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Hydrilla verticillata (L.f.) commonly called hydrilla has been referred to as a perfect aquatic weed because of
the extensive adaptations that allows it to be an aggressive and competitive colonizer of aquatic habitats.
Hydrilla can elongate at a rate of up to 1 inch per day until it nears the water surface, where it branches
profusely, forming a dense mat that is able to intercept light to the exclusion of other submersed native species.
Recent studies indicate that chemical control of hydrilla in Florida may no longer be an effective option after it
was recently discovered that the plant has developed resistance to fluridone, the only EPA- registered systemic
herbicide approved for use in aquatic system. Potential spread of the fluridone - resistant hydrilla in Florida
and the higher rates of fluridone required to control it may negatively impact Florida’s Rivers and lakes. The
objective of this research project was to conduct greenhouse and field trials to study the potential of Cricotopus
lebetis Sublette (Diptera: Chironomidae) in localized and environmentally friendly control of hydrilla in Florida’s
rivers and lakes.
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