Ms Amy Collop

Technical Assistant: Biological Control


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Prior to joining FABI, I completed my undergraduate degree, and then Master’s degree at the University of Stellenbosch in the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology. My Master’s research focused on the population genetics of an invasive ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, in South Africa.

After graduating, I joined FABI as an intern part of the Phytosanitation and Biosecurity Internship program. During this time, I was exposed to the practical aspects of insect rearing and its importance in biological control.

I now work as a technical assistant at the FABI biocontrol facility, involved mainly with Eucalyptus insect pests, specifically Gonipterus sp. no. 2 and its biological control agents. My current work is centered on establishing a rearing colony of a new potential biological control agent of Gonipterus sp. no. 2 (Anagonia lasiopthalma) and assessing its host specificity. Anagonia lasiopthalma is a Tachinid fly that has been released as a biological control agent to manage Gonipterus plantensis in Portugal.  If proven to be host-specific in South Africa, A. lasiopthalma could be a great addition to the management of Gonipterus sp. no. 2 as a larval parasitoid.

Other insect colonies that I am involved with rearing include:

  • Galleria mellonella (The greater wax moth), which is used mainly as a factitious host
  • Trachymela tincticollis, an insect pest of Eucalyptus, and it’s egg parasitoid Enoggera reticulata
  • Anaphes nitens, an egg parasitoid of Gonipterus no. 2