Releasing Biological Controls

Native to Ukraine, swallowwort was likely introduced to North America as an ornamental plant, soon
spreading to several northeastern states. The plant creates extremely dense monocultures spreading over
acres upon acres of otherwise biologically diverse natural systems. The biological control, Hypena opulenta, is
also from the Ukraine and feeds exclusively on swallowwort.

Partnering with the NYS Invasive Species Research Institute, the Thousand Islands Land Trust, SUNY ESF,
University of Rhode Island, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and local volunteers, our SLELO PRISM
assisted with caged releases of Hypena opulenta at four sites within the Eastern Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence
Region. This important work will help to restore Priority Conservation Areas (PCA’s) to their natural ecological

Hypena opulenta pupae being readied for release.

One of four 6’x6’x6’ research cages.

One of four 6’x6’x6’ research cages.

This year many egg-laying adult moths
emerged = success!

Of the three release sites, Hypena opulenta are the most successful at defoliating invasive swallow-worts in cages located at the Whele Forest.

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Rob Williams
PRISM Coordinator

Megan Pistolese
Outreach and Education

Brittney Rogers
Aquatic Invasive Species

Robert Smith
Terrestrial Invasive Species