It's only 3/8-inch long and has bright yellow wings, but this insect known as "Pete" may become the best solder in the battle against spotted knapweed. The Agapeta zoegana is a friend of native plants, but is a threat to spotted knapweed, a noxious weed that has damaged millions of acres of Montana rangeland since its introduction in 1927. Work is being done to increase populations of the insect, but so far those populations at most sites are still too small to collect for redistribution.

Researchers won't say knapweed will no longer be a problem, but the bio-control insects can reduce spotted knapweed density. A 70 percent reduction was recorded at early test sites.