12 Dec 2007

Moth introduced from Guam to fight CNMI pest

2:13 pm on 12 December 2007

Another species of insect has been released on Saipan to control the spread of the invasive scarlet or ivy gourd that harms trees.

The Marianas Variety newspaper reports that 300 eggs of Melittia Oedipus-or ivy gourd moth were brought from Guam in August by the Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service.

An entomologist with the Service, Jack Tenorio, says the weevil which was introduced in 2003worked slowly because it only fed on the invasive vine's leaves.

The newly introduced moth feeds and breeds not only on the leaves but on the vines as well.

25 percent of Saipan's land area has been infested by the invasive vines.