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Jamaican nightshade has been in Florida for at least 77 years, but is considered rare and only found in 4 counties in the central peninsula. However, there are many examples of long lag periods between the time an exotic plant arrives at a new location, and the time it spreads and becomes highly invasive (Sakai et al. 2001). Locally dense populations of Jamaican nightshade in hammock areas in Saint Lucie and Osceola counties suggest that the plant is adapted to at least some habitats in Florida, and could eventually spread to similar habitats and become a serious exotic invader. The current study demonstrated that G. boliviana, a biological control agent established in Florida for control of tropical soda apple, does not utilize Jamaican nightshade for feeding or oviposition. If Jamaican nightshade becomes a more serious invasive weed in the future, it may be possible to identify host specific natural enemies from its native range.

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Florida Entomologist

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