Tropical soda apple is a prickly shrub native to South America that is a major problem in pastures and conservation areas. So a multi-agency program supported the rearing, distribution, and release of more than 250,000 tropical soda apple leaf beetles across Florida from 2003 to 2011. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Rodrigo Diaz, William A. Overholt, Ken Hibbard, and Julio Medal, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, January 2013.
Tropical soda apple is a prickly shrub native to South America. First reported in Glades Co., Florida in 1988, it later spread to Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It is a major problem in pastures and conservation areas. Negative impacts of tropical soda apple include reduction of cattle stocking rates, competition with native plants, and the costs associated with its control. Dense thickets of the weed also can disrupt the movement of wildlife. This 4-page fact sheet provides a summary of the major steps of the successful biological control program against tropical soda apple in Florida. The article covers the importance of the weed, identification and biology of the biological control agent, rearing and release efforts, establishment and impact, and efforts to communicate the outcomes of the program to stakeholders. Written by R. Diaz, J. Medal, K. Hibbard, A. Roda, A. Fox, S. Hight, P. Stansly, B. Sellers, J. Cuda and W. A. Overholt, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, November 2012.
Although it is commonly referred to as the pepper fruit fly or tomato fruit fly, Atherigona orientalis is not a true fruit fly in the family Tephritidae, but rather a member of the Muscidae, the same family to which the common house fly belongs. It is found in most tropical and subtropical areas of the world and is usually considered a secondary pest or “trash fly.” But it can sometimes be a primary pest of certain agricultural crops, most notably plants in the family Solanaceae. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Kenneth L. Hibbard and William A. Overholt, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, September 2012.