Harrisia martinii (Moon cactus)
> eukaryotes >
Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants)
> Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants)
> Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering
plants) > Core Eudicots
> Order: Caryophyllales >
Family: Cactaceae > Genus: Harrisia
Native to South America. Naturalised in
southern Africa. A stem sucking mealiebug, Hypogeococcus pungens,
together with a stem boring beetle, Nealcidion cereicola,
have brought this weed under complete biological control in
South Africa (Klein 2011).
Ecological interactions in southern Africa
A biological control campaign against this weed
has resulted in the establishment of two biological control agents:
- Hypogeococcus pungens (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae).
A stem sucking mealiebug that was released in South
Africa in 1983 against Harrisia martinii and which causes
extensive damage (Klein 2011).
- Nealcidion cereicola (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). A
stem boring beetle that was released in 1990 against Harrisia
martinii and which causes considerable damage (KIein 2011).
Klein H. 2011. A
catalogue of the insects, mites and
pathogens that have been used or
rejected, or are under consideration,
for the biological control of invasive
alien plants in South Africa. African
Entomology 19(2): 515-549.