Mimosa was introduced into Australia in the late 1800s as a curiosity, and is now a serious weed of northern Australian wetlands and floodplains. Since 1983, 12 insects and two fungi have been released to help control mimosa, and a recent study showed that the four most effective insects have reduced seed rain and soil seed banks by 90 per cent.
The mimosa flea beetle was specifically chosen to fight mimosa in the tropical wetlands because its larvae feed on mimosa roots and the soft tissues of seedlings, often killing them. Adults feed on the leaves. These parts of the plant are relatively untouched by current agents so this beetle should put mimosa under even more pressure.
Photographer : David McClenaghan
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<table style="border:1px solid;padding:2px; width:310px;" ><tr><td><a href="https://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/image/3624/"><img src="https://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/images/embed/300_0_BE3975.jpg" width="300" alt="Larvae of mimosa flea beetles, Nesaecrepida infuscata" style="margin: 0 0 5px 0; border: 0px;"></a><br/><a href="https://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/image/3624/">Larvae of mimosa flea beetles, Nesaecrepida infuscata</a><br />by CSIRO</td></tr></table>
Larvae of mimosa flea beetles, Nesaecrepida infuscata