Authors : Rina S. Saha, Manoj K. Bangadkar and I.A. Raja
Page Nos : 11-14
Parthenium hysterophorus L., commonly known as carrot weed or congress grass in India has been considered as one of the most invasive weed. It is responsible for causing health problems to human beings and also to farm animals, besides causing loss to crop productivity and plant biodiversity. The weed has infested million hectares of land in India since it was first noticed in the year 1955. Now it is one of the major weeds in all types of agricultural lands in India along with infesting nearby wastelands, community lands, roads and forests.
In an attempt towards biological control of Parthenium hysterophorus L we found that the Mexican beetle Zygogramma bicolorata to be an effective biological control agent for Parthenium hysterophorus in India as it feeds primarily on this weed. The eggs, larval and adult stages of the beetle were collected from the field. Mass rearing of the beetles was undertaken in laboratory condition. After the successful multiplication of the life cycle, the beetles were released in a field invaded by Parthenium and monitored for three consecutive years to chart the effect of these beetles on Parthenium and their performance in consecutive years. The abundance of Parthenium in the infested area declined after three months of release of Z. bicolorata. At the beginning of second year it was noticed that the adult Mexican beetles emerged out from the soil indicated that the insect had successfully acclimatized to the region. This paper aims at helping the people affected by this exotic weed Parthenium hysterophorus and to make strategy for the control using ecofriendly approach.
Keywords: Biological control, Parthenium hysterophorus, Zygogramma bicolorata