Letter | Published:

Successful biological control of the floating weed salvinia

Naturevolume 294pages7880 (1981) | Download Citation



The floating fern Salvinia molesta D. S. Mitchell (Salviniaceae) originated in southeastern Brazil1, but since about 1930, it has been introduced into various tropical and subtropical regions where it has become as great a menace as the water hyacinth2–4. Biological control of salvinia has clear economic and environmental advantages over other methods of control, but earlier attempts either failed or achieved inconclusive results5–7. We report here successful control of the largest salvinia infestation in Australia using the beetle Cyrtobagous singularis Hustache (Curculionidae) and suggest why this beetle has potential for controlling salvinia infestations elsewhere.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Forno, I. W. & Harley, K. L. S. Aquat. Bot. 6, 185–187 (1979).

  2. 2

    Varshney, C. K. & Rzoska, J. (eds) Aquatic Weeds in South East Asia (Junk, The Hague, 1976).

  3. 3

    Mitchell, D. S., Petr, T. & Viner, A. B. Envir. Conserv. 7, 115–122 (1980).

  4. 4

    Thomas, K. J. Envir. Conserv. 6, 63–69 (1979).

  5. 5

    Bennett, F. D. Proc. Summer Inst. biol. Control, University of Mississippi, 224–237 (Univ. Mississippi Press, 1974); Biological Control for Water Quality Enhancement Workshop, University of Florida, Gainesville, 28–35 (US Environmental Protection Agency, (1975).

  6. 6

    Mitchell, D. S. & Rose, D. J. W. PANS 25, 171–177 (1979).

  7. 7

    Kamath, M. K. Fiji Agric. J. 41, 55–72 (1979).

  8. 8

    Mitchell, D. S. Aquatic Weeds in Australian Inland Waters (Australian Dept of the Environment, Housing & Community Development, Canberra, 1978).

  9. 9

    Farell, T. P. Proc. 1st Conf. Coun. Aust. Weed Sci. Soc., 179–188 (Brown Prior Anderson, Burwood, Victoria, 1978); Proc. Aust. Wat. Resources Coun. Semin., Canberra, 57–71 (Dept National Development, Canberra, 1979).

  10. 10

    Huffaker, C. B. & Messenger, P. S. Theory and Practice of Biological Control (Academic, New York, 1976).

  11. 11

    Edwards, D. & Thomas, P. A. Proc. 2nd natn. Weeds Conf. S. Afr., Stellenbosch University, 221–237 (Balkema, Cape Town, 1977).

Download references

Author information


  1. CSIRO Division of Entomology, Private Bag No. 3, Indooroopilly, Queensland, 4068, Australia

    • P. M. Room
    •  & D. P. A. Sands
  2. CSIRO Biological Control Unit, CP 322, Curitiba, 80000, Parana, Brazil

    • K. L. S. Harley
    •  & I. W. Forno


  1. Search for P. M. Room in:

  2. Search for K. L. S. Harley in:

  3. Search for I. W. Forno in:

  4. Search for D. P. A. Sands in:

About this article

Publication history



Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.