🐞Zygogramma bicolorata, also referred to as the Parthenium beetle or Mexican beetle, is native to Mexico but has been introduced as a biocontrol agent for Parthenium since the 1980’s in Australia. The beetles are host specific and only eat and breed on Parthenium.
🐛Adult and larvae feed on the leaves of Parthenium. They have the ability to completely defoliate the weed. Therefore reducing its ability to photosynthesize, limiting the weeds growth and reproduction.
🟩With help from Central Highlands Regional Council, BCCA field collected over 600 beetles from Springsure in Central Queensland. With landholder and Council involvement, we released the beetles at 12 sites in the North Burnett in March 2022. Establishment of a Z.bicolorata colony is dependent upon climatic conditions, soil type, level of natural enemies and the abundance and quality of host plants (Parthenium). If we can successfully establish colony sites in the North Burnett region we will then be able to field harvest from these sites and distribute to more locations within the region.
This project ‘Bugs, Beetles & Biocontrol- Transforming landscapes in the Burnett through innovative management practices’ is supported by BCCA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.