J.M. DiTomaso, The Regents of the University of California

J.M. DiTomaso, The Regents of the University of California

Saltcedar

APPROVED BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS


Diorhabda carinulata

Diorhabda carinulata , or the saltcedar leaf beetle, overwinters in the adult form. The adults emerge from hibernation over a two-week period in March or April. Females oviposit their eggs in masses of up to 25 from April to early fall on young foliage.

Larval development consists of three instars and takes approximately 22 days to complete. Third instar larvae prepare cocoons of litter held together with silk to pupate in. Pupae develop in about seven days.

This agent is destructive in the larval and adult stages. Defoliated plants suffer stem dieback, but commonly resprout from the base. After five to six years of constant defoliation, plant death occurs. When plant material becomes scarce, adults will fly long distances to feed and oviposit on uninfested plants.

Insects can be collected during the morning hours as they are climbing the plants. They are easiest to collect by knocking the insects into a five gallon bucket while they are still too cold to disperse.