About mass-rearing

The Centre for Biological Control houses two mass-rearing facilities:

What is mass-rearing?
The Centre 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. Details of the insects which are reared at the two CBC facilities, and available for release, is shown in the two tables below. 

‌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 and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries  and the Environment, 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 has two Quarantine Facilities, to facilitate research into host-specificity and fecundity of potential biological control agents.

Mass-reared biological control agents
The two tables below show all the biological control agents that are mass-reared at the Center for Biological Control. The focus of the Waainek facility is on waterweeds, where as the facility in Kariega/Uitenhage rears biological control agents which can be released on various cacti species. If you would like to request any of these insects for release on your property, contact the relevant mass rearing managers.

Waterweeds: Waainek mass-rearing facility

  Invasive Plant

  Biological Control Agent

  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

  Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth) 

  Neochetina weevils

  Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth) 

  Megamelus scutellaris


Cacti Weeds: Kariega/Uitenhage mass-rearing facility

  Invasive Plant

  Biological Control Agent

  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: Mon, 07 Mar 2022 10:40:31 SAST