Two insect species from China, Gonioctena tredecimmaculata (Jacoby) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Ornatalcides (Mesalcidodes) trifidus (Pascoe) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), were studied in quarantine in the United States as potential biological control agents for kudzu, Pueraria montana variety lobata (Willd.) Maesen and S. Almeida. Adults of G. tredecimmaculata were ovoviviparous and reproduced throughout the summer, producing offspring that had an obligate adult diapause. In no-choice tests, adult and larval G. tredecimmaculata rejected most of the plant species tested, but consumed foliage and completed their life cycle on soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) and on a native woodland plant, hog-peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata L. Fernald), which are in the same subtribe as kudzu (Glycininae). Insects showed similar responses to field- and greenhouse-grown soybean and kudzu foliage, despite measurable differences in leaf traits: field-grown foliage of both plants had greater leaf toughness, higher total carbon content, higher trichome density, and lower water content than greenhouse foliage. O. trifidus adults also rejected most of the plants tested but fed on and severely damaged potted soybean and hog-peanut plants in addition to kudzu. Further tests in China are needed to determine whether these species will accept nontarget host plants under open-field conditions.
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