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New Eucalypt insect established in Auckland: Nambouria sp.

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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 No. 93, February 2000.

New Zealand's eucalypt insect fauna has been enriched yet again. Brent Rogan, Forest Health Advisory Services, found unusual, protruding galls on the leaves of Eucalyptus nicholii in Auckland in early October  1999  (see  photo).  The  galls  are approximately 8 mm long, and protrude in a wavy red line (not unlike a roosters comb) through each side of the leaf.

The developing larva can be found feeding inside the gall within an oval gallery. Development takes approximately 3 months, as new generations have been observed in October, and again in January. Up to 25 galls have been counted on a single leaf. Adult specimens reared from the galls were pteromalid wasps. As there are no records in the literature of such an insect on E. nicholii , specimens were viewed by hymenopterists at Landcare Research, CSIRO, and the Natural History Museum in London. It has been confirmed that this is an unknown insect which does not fit well into any described genus. At present it has been provisionally placed in the genus Nambouria which contains one other smaller wasp that induces galls on E. camaldulensis in Queensland. This new insect is found in abundance on foliage of E. nicholii in the Auckland suburbs of Panmure and Mt Wellington. Further searches of these suburbs has found Nambouria sp. on E. cinerea (silver dollar gum).

Toni Withers, Forest Research

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