Biological control of Paropsis charybdis
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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. 232, January 2013.
Toni Withers, with technical assistance from Hannah Fluitsma (Southwood Export) and Dean Satchell (Farm Forestry Association), were in Tasmania for most of December undertaking the field and lab work component of this year’s Sustainable Farming Fund project on potential biological control agents for Paropsis charybdis. A P. charybdis colony set up by University of Tasmania collaborators Vin Patel and Geoff Allen was successfully maintained and the parasitoid Eadya paropsidis recollected and three different laboratory behavioural screening tests undertaken. Unfortunately the female parasitoids showed a significantly lower preference for attacking P. charybdis than they did towards their normal host Paropsisterna agricola. This does not bode well for the biological control project. This will be disappointing to eucalypt growers, particularly those from Southland, who have given significant funding for the project. Four replicates of a sentinel larval trial were also carried out in Tasmania and may reveal a previously unknown natural enemy.
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(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)