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  Plant pest.
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.12.05 at 08:05:23(5748)
Dear Aroiders,

I first sent the letter below to a fish-list I belong to, but since one of
the plants affected, the water lettuce Pistia stratiotes is an Aroid, was
wondering if any one out there in 'Aroid-land' had run into this little
beauty! Maybe you have read about it in some water management or other
paper??

Has anyone on this list experienced a little moth caterpillar (Lepidopteran
larva) that has completely destroyed ALL my floating plants? The little
bastards live in a little (+ - 1/4",1 cm.) floating, folded cut-leaf 'boat',
and eat the leaves of all the floating plants in my fish containers, both
water
hyacinth and water lettuce (Pistia), AND seem able to crawl down below the
water
surface and eat the leaves of submerged plants that are close to the
surface as well! I believe I saw an adult moth of this 'destroying angel',
a
little black delta-winged moth! I first saw this creature in out-door
ponds at my friend Bobby`s home, there it seemed to prefer the leaves of
water lilies (Nymphea sps.) but here I do not have water lilies, so it eats
EVERYTHING in my containers! I wonder if it was one that may have been
introduced by the water management people to control water weeds, but this
thing is NOT selective in it`s diet of seemingly ALL water plants!

Julius

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From: Denis denis at skg.com> on 2000.12.06 at 07:52:40(5757)
Julius:

I am sorry for your loss. However, I think you should send some of this
pest to the USDA to see if your pest might be a possible cure for the
vegetation clogged canals of South Florida. Maybe your pesky bug is
already part of an experiment by the South Florida Water Management
District to test the efficacy of using such a predator on the nuisance
weeds in the waterways. You never know.

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.12.06 at 11:54:16(5762)
>Julius:

I am sorry for your loss. However, I think you should send some of this
pest to the USDA to see if your pest might be a possible cure for the
vegetation clogged canals of South Florida. Maybe your pesky bug is
already part of an experiment by the South Florida Water Management
District to test the efficacy of using such a predator on the nuisance
weeds in the waterways. You never know. <

Dear Denis,

JUST heard from a Miami friend, he says that is WAS in fact introduced by
the USDA to control water hyacynth, but I did not know they would or would
be allowed to release a pest on the enviroment with such a broad range of
tastes! The little bastard eats all the plants, even climbing down
underwater to eat leaves off some a few inches down! My friend says that
the top-water plants are being controlled, but without cover the algae and
slime algae take over, so they are trying Chinese grass carp on these NEW
pests!
Do you know if the USDA has a web-page??
Did the little self header Philo. w/ cordate leaves make it???
Thanks,

Julius

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From: John Presnell jcpresnell at earthlink.net> on 2000.12.07 at 07:47:49(5764)
Julius,
You may be compounding your critters. Insect contols have been
introduced for Eichhornia and I also believe for Pistia, but it was
after extensive testing and they have been shown to be species selective
in their dietary preferences.

The insect you describe sounds to me to be a widespread aquatic plant
pest known commonly as the China Mark Moth or more colloquially as the
"Sandwich Man". They range from at least here in S Fl to Central TX and
will damage about any aquatic plant, but are not the insects released to
control Eichhornia or Pistia. I don't have it in front of me, but can
get you the latin name for the Mark Moth if you wish.

Craig

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.12.08 at 19:43:43(5769)
Dear Craig,

Thanks for taking the time to inform me, you are probably correct, as I did
not WANT to believe that any person or agency would or could release suce a
pest with such broard food selections on the inviroment! It eats
EVERYTHING! "Sandwichman' is a good name, his little 'house' is like a
sandwich, and he sure makes sandwiches of every plant he can get to, above
AND below the water! There must be many 'natural' controls and predators
in the wild, as I have not run across it 'out there', but in the protected
enviroment of the home he goes wild.
Thanks again,

Sincerely,

Julius

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