Galerucella Study

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a non-native plant first introduced to New Brunswick in 1800’s by settlers from Europe. Unfortunately, it so well adapted to our hydric soils that it is spreading throughout our wetlands at an alarming rate. Nick-named by some as ‘the purple menace’ its invasiveness is crowding out other wetland species, thereby reducing the habitat potential of the wetland. This has become a major concern and in an effort to slow the spread of purple loosestrife without using chemicals, biologists are investigating the effectiveness of biological controls. Ducks Unlimited Canada released Galerucella (beetles) at TWC over a decade ago. The Wetheads are now helping to determine the success of these insects in the limiting the spread of purple loosestrife in the impoundment. The students are learning a lot about field research and the challenges presented by aliens!