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Other Galerucella Projects

July 15, 2011

This is by no means a complete list of projects that have involved a Galerucella beetle release, but this list includes projects I’ve found helpful, as well as ones that I think others will find helpful. Feel free to comment with information about other Galerucella projects to add to the list!

These and other projects that have detailed how they reared and released Galerucella beetles are a goldmine of tips and tricks to having a successful project. You can use the successes and shortcomings of other projects to guide your own, providing you with a blueprint that will improve your chances of a successful release.

The University of Minnesota has an extremely detailed and thorough guide to rearing Galerucella beetles. It goes step-by-step for the whole rearing process and includes diagrams, which can be very helpful to those of us who are visual learners. It also provides a wealth of information on the life cycle of the beetles themselves, as well as some suggestions for replacing purple loosestrife once the beetles have done their job.

Biological Control of Purple Loosestrife: A Guide for Rearing Leaf-feeding Beetles, University of Minnesota:

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge has provided another great guide to rearing Galerucella beetles, including both a general step-by-step guide and a personal account of the challenges encountered in a 2006 rearing process the Refuge took part in. It is a great source for tips on rearing beetles. They also have an established monitoring protocol for their project, providing data on how successful they’ve been.

Galerucella rearing guide, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge:                                                                                         Monitoring data:

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a very visually appealing guide to rearing Galerucella beetles. This guide includes photographs of their setup, and directions for both one-year projects and more permanent, several-year projects. It also includes the excellent idea of using large zip ties to secure the nets to the pots; we will have to employ this idea next year!

Rearing and Releasing Galerucella Beetles to Control Purple Loosestrife, University of Nebraska-Lincoln:

The University of Connecticut extension program has another good guide, with simple instructions and good photographs of the process to help you in your design. They link back to the University of Minnesota guide as well, showing just how connected the science community can be about invasive plant management. They also have a site where people can sign on to become “beetle farmers” or report loosestrife sightings.

Homegrown Beetles: Backyard Biocontrol, University of Connecticut Invasive Plant Management:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a long-standing and expansive program to rear Galerucella beetles for purple loosestrife control. This guide is meant for landowners to use for raising loosestrife beetles on their own, and is thorough and informative.

How to Raise and Release Galerucella Beetles for Controlling Purple Loosestrife in Wisconsin, Wisconsin DNR:

The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has performed releases of loosestrife and involves local volunteers in monitoring projects. It is an excellent example of community engagement with regards to invasive species.

Purple Loosestrife Control Project, City of Cambridge, Massachusetts:

The Michigan Sea Grant program has classroom activities for teachers relating to purple loosestrife, including a guide to rearing and releasing beetles geared toward fulfilling education requirements while teaching kids about the world around them and the invasives that inhabit that world.

The Purple Pages, Activity Seven: Beetle Release, Michigan Sea Grant Program:

Cornell University has a wealth of information on biocontrol agents for invasive species, including a very thorough protocol on monitoring Galerucella beetle damage after it has been released. This information can be found at:

The Brice Prairie Conservation Association has done annual reporting and documentation of their Galerucella project for several years in a row, and has excellent information about how a long-term Galerucella project could be run.

Purple Loosestrife Control Project, The Brice Prairie Conservation Association:    

The Bugwood Wiki contains a very thorough guide on obtaining biocontrol agents for purple loosestrife. It includes field methods and guidelines for purchasing the biocontrol agents, including how to make sure the source is high-quality and what questions to ask suppliers.
Obtaining Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol Agents, BugwoodWiki:

There are plenty of other projects being done across the nation to release Galerucella beetles. The above guides can provide you with the information you need to get started on contributing to the control of purple loosestrife. Let us know if you’d like your own project mentioned here!

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