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100 years of the Eucalyptus Tortoise Beetle in New Zealand

By Toni Withers and Elise Peters, June 2017.

Download SWP-T023 (pdf)

Executive summary

The Eucalyptus tortoise beetle, Paropsis charybdis, has been one of the most successful insect pests to invade New Zealand. One hundred years have now passed, and yet this pest continues to cause anxiety to forest managers and impact the growth of eucalypt plantations. Research shows there are serious cost implications for plantation managers if they neglect to manage tortoise beetle outbreaks across multiple seasons. Many attempts have been made to control this insect pest with biological control agents imported from its native Australia, with some success. Scion is hoping to introduce yet another natural enemy in 2018, a braconid parasitoid that targets the larval life stage. The importance of integrating aerial spray technologies with biological control agents to minimize negative impacts on these beneficial insects cannot be underestimated. We believe a future integrated management strategy will be the key to achieving successful suppression of this pest and ensure the long term sustainability of Eucalyptus nitens as a valuable alternative plantation species for New Zealand.


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