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Mass Rearing

The CENTRE FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL houses two mass rearing facilities:

What is Mass Rearing?

The CENTR FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL cultivates invasive alien plants in controlled greenhouse environments. These plants are then used to culture the biological control agent specifically approved for control of that particular plant and eventually released at recognized and monitored invasive plant populations across South Africa. These biological control agents are available for free to researchers, implementation officers, reserve and water quality managers, farmers and concerned members of the public who want to get involved in preserving biodiversity and controlling invasive species in their local natural environments. All biological control agents mass reared by the CENTRE FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL are approved for safe release in South Africa by the regulatory bodies; the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Department of Environmental Affairs and conform to current legislation.

The identification and control of invasive species is a continuous and ever evolving problem. Every year more species are identified as problematic and more effort is invested into finding new biological control agents. Thus the CENTRE FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL also house a Quarantine Facility, to facilitate research into host-specificity and fecundity of potential biological control agents.

Below is a list of the biological control agents currently mass reared at the BCRG facilities; clicking on the name of a particular agent will access their associated fact sheet, provided by the Agriculture Research Council, SA (ARC) and the Working for Water Programme, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa (if fact sheets are available for the agent only).


Invasive Plant

Biological Control Agent

Water Weeds


Salvinia molesta (Kariba weed)

Cyrtobagous salviniae

Pistia stratiotes (Water Lettuce)

Neohydronomus affinis

Myriophyllum aquaticum (Parrot’s Feather)

Lysathia sp.

Azolla filiculoides (Red Water Fern)

Stenopelmus rufinasus

Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth)

Eccritotarsus catarinensis


Neochetina eichhorniae


Neochetina bruchi


Megamelus scutellaris

Cacti Weeds


Pereskia acuelata (Barbados Gooseberry)

Catorhintha schaffneri

 Opuntia aurantiaca (Jointed cactus)

 Dactylopius austrinus

Cylindropuntia imbricata (Ibricated cactus)

Dactylopius tomentosus "imbricata type"

Opuntia monacantha (Drooping prickly pear)

Dactylopius ceylonicus

Opuntia stricta (Australian pest pear) 

Dactylopius opuntiae "stricta type"

Harrisia martinii 

Hypogeococcus festerianus



Last Modified: Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:43:50 SAST