Good news for biocontrol of eucalyptus tortoise beetle
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 287, March 2019.
Scion entomologist Toni Withers was delighted last week to get the news she had been waiting for from the Environmental Protection Authority. Scion’s application to release the parasitoid wasp (Eadya daenerys) from containment for biological control of eucalyptus tortoise beetle (Paropsis charybdis) was approved. Waiting on tenterhooks since the hearing in January, Toni and the project team can now make plans for a fresh field collection and introduction of the parasitoid from Tasmania. Next summer will involve mass-rearing the parasitoid through one generation in containment in Rotorua to ensure it is free of any diseases or associated organisms, before additional permission can be sought from MPI to release. Once the parasitoid is established in the field, it will be time for the eucalyptus tortoise beetle to start running scared.
It is very satisfying to reach this step in the long process towards achieving su stainable control of this major pest of Eucalyptus. We are very grateful for the patience and generosity of our funding bodies and commercial partners.
Toni Withers (Scion)
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(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)