Biocontrol Lab

Plant Sciences & Entomology, College of the Environement and Life Sciences

The University of Rhode Island Biological Control Lab

The URI Biocontrol Lab is located at the end of the University’s greenhouse complex at the corner of Upper College Rd. and Flagg Rd. in Kingston. The facility is comprised of a USDA approved quarantine facility, as well as laboratory space in the University greenhouse complex, one greenhouse, and nursery space. Dr. Richard Casagrande, a faculty entomologist at the University, uses the quarantine facility for newly imported exotic biological control agents, and the laboratory space as rearing and research facility for biological control agents which have already cleared the USDA quarantine requirements.

Biological Control of Invasive Swallowworts

After 5 years of host range testing against native plants Hypena opulenta, a moth of the family Noctuidae,  is being released as a biological control agent against invasive swallowworts. As of September 2013, The University of Rhode Island Biological Control Lab has sent 500 H.opulenta larvae to cooperators in Ottawa, Canada where it was earlier approved for release against the invasive swallowworts.

To read the press release [Click Here]

Click the Black Swallowwort button on the left menu to learn more about the project or the link below to read the petition for release.

Petition for Release of Hypena opulenta against invasive swallowworts November 2011

Lily Leaf Beetle Biological Control Survey 2014

If you grow lilies in New England, and have lily leaf beetles feeding on them, the University of Rhode Island would like your help. The University of Rhode Island (URI) Biological Control Lab is researching natural enemies of the lily leaf beetle. Small parasitic insects were established in lily plots in Cumberland, RI, and Wellesley, MA. URI would like to track these parasitic insects by collecting the large larvae covered with excrement (brown blobs) that you find on your lilies. They will dissect the larvae to look for the parasitic insects. If you have larvae in your yard, and wouldn’t mind sending them to URI please use the following instructions to send them to Lisa Tewksbury at the URI Department of Plant Sciences or contact her for more information. [Click Here for Instructions]

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