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Richard Casagrande

Researchers release new biological agent to fight invasive weed

University of Rhode Island entomologists reached a milestone in their efforts to control the invasive weed swallow-wort this month with the first release of a biological agent to fight the pest.

Last week, the URI scientists, led by Professor Richard Casagrande and Research Associate Lisa Tewksbury, sent 500 larvae of the moth Hypena opulenta to partners in Canada for release in patches of swallow-wort near Ottawa.

“Swallow-wort is an aggressive invasive perennial weed that forms dense patches in a wide variety of habitats and may have negative impacts on monarch butterfly populations,” said Casagrande. “But...


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