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Student-Run Beetle-Rearing Lab Will Fight Air Potato Vine

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Air Potato vine. (Source: Ann Murray, University of Florida)

Air Potato vine. (Source: Ann Murray, University of Florida)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The first-ever student-run beetle-rearing lab will be in operation in South Florida.

Adult Lilioceris cheni. Photograph by Ted D. Center, USDA/ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Adult Lilioceris cheni. Photograph by Ted D. Center, USDA/ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The lab is the first student-run facility in the United States that will breed the Liliceris cheni beetle to help combat the invasive Air Potato vine that is taking over many parks and neighborhood yards.

It will be at TERRA Environmental Research Institute on SW 84 Street.

The USDA Agricultural Research Service Invasive Plant Research Lab in Fort Lauderdale will provide “Adam” and “Eve” that will be the first beetles to be part of the student-run lab.

The lab is made possible by the Miami-Dade Parks’ Natural Area Management Division, USDA and TERRA with a grant from State Farm Youth Advisory Board.

A dedication ceremony will be held May 28.

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