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PESTS AND DISEASES OF FORESTRY IN NEW ZEALAND

Possible control for Cardiaspina fiscella

Scion is the leading provider of forest-related knowledge in New Zealand
Formerly known as the Forest Research Institute, Scion has been a leader in research relating to forest health for over 50 years. The Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute continues to provide science that will protect all forests from damage caused by insect pests, pathogens and weeds. The information presented below arises from these research activities.

From Forest Health News 62, April 1997.

Another major event during my visit to Australia was the identification of a possible biological control for Cardiaspina fiscella, (the recently introduced lerp making psyllid. Cardiaspina fiscella was very easy to find in the field in NSW. It is an unmeasured problem in their new eucalypt plantations.

I collected some of the lerps from areas around Sydney and examined them in the laboratory. I found that there were substantial numbers of dark mummified nymphs. This is usually an indication of the presence of an endoparasite (a parasite which lives inside the host). Sure enough when I dissected the mummies I found hymenopterous (wasp) larvae, pupae and preemergent adults. 

You may ask, why is it not controlling them if there is a parasite present? I may answer: That fleas have smaller fleas......etc. In their home range, hymenopterous parasites often have what are known as hyperparasites ie parasites which parasitise the primary parasite. If we can separate the parasite from the hyperparasites then we could import the control into New Zealand where its efficacy would be greatly enhanced. The great advantage of this project is that the primary parasite has been taxonomically described.

Patrick Walsh FRI

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(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)

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