Introduction to the Behavioral Ecology of the Protection of Native Floras and Faunas: Commercial Importation into Florida of Invertebrate Animals as Biological Control Agents

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Florida, biological control, commercial producers, introduced species, integrated pest management

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A survey of commercial producers and sellers of biological control agents revealed 49 species of invertebrate animals imported into Florida. Of these, 48 were imported for augmentative biological control of pests, and one for educational purposes. There were 3 species of nematodes, 1 mollusc, 8 mites, and 37 insects. More than half (25) of them were not known to occur in Florida at the time of importation, and some of them might be capable of establishing populations in Florida and might serve as classical biological control agents. Targets were mainly pest insects in the orders Homoptera (41%), Diptera (19%), Lepidoptera (15%) and Thysanoptera (11%). The targets were on or in perennial plants, annual plants, greenhouses, pasture- and turfgrasses, stored products, and feces of domesticated vertebrates. Some targets of commercially-imported biological control agents had been targets of classical biological control research. Some agents ("common") were imported frequently and by several producers, but others ("uncommon") were imported perhaps only once or twice. More targets previously re corded as targets of classical biological control agents were associated with "uncommon" commercially-imported agents than with "common" ones; more of the "common" agents than the "uncommon" ones were released into multiple habitats.

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The Florida Entomologist, v. 77, issue 1, p. 1-20