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Fall Webworm in New Zealand

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 127, March 2003.

Caterpillars provisionally identified as belonging to the fall webworm ( Hyphantria cunea) were found at an Aranui Street property, Mount Wellington, Auckland, as a result of a public enquiry on 19 March. Specimens and images have been sent to the United States Department of Agriculture for validation. An inspection of neighbouring properties revealed more live hairy caterpillars and the characteristic silken web spun over the foliage of a single tree. Native to North America and Mexico, the fall webworm is also present in Asia and Europe. This insect feeds on a range of shade trees and ornamentals such as cherries, mulberry, dogwoods, sycamores, persimmons, poplar, aspens, willows, white birch, apple, and liquidamber, but it is not
regarded as a serious pest in either the US or Europe.

Pesticide has been applied to infested and adjacent host trees, and with the completion of an investigation report, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) is conducting delimiting surveys, deploying insect traps, and undertaking testing for host species susceptibility. MAF is encouraging members of the public to report any suspicious finds to their hotline phone number 0800 809 966.

(From a MAF press release, 25 March 2003).

This information is intended for general interest only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific specialist advice on any matter and should not be relied on for that purpose. Scion will not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, loss of profits, or any other intangible losses that result from using the information provided on this site.
(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)


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