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A bit of history - Aenetus virescens

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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 162, May 2006.

Most readers of FH News will be familiar with Aenetus virescens (ghost or puriri moth). The larvae bore in living branches and trunks of a wide variety of indigenous and exotic hardwoods in the North Island (it is not found in the South Island). It is particularly common in Nothofagus forests. Generally it is not regarded as a serious pest but small diameter trunks and branches may be girdled and die. It is unusual for trees to be killed. In 1922 Thompson recorded large Fraxinus, Quercus, and Ulmus trees in Taranaki being killed as a result of Aenetus. This reference seems to have been overlooked by subsequent authors; at least Grehan (1984) made no mention of it. One cannot help but wonder if other factors contributed to the deaths of these large trees in Taranaki.


Grehan, J. R. 1984: The host range of Aenetus virescens (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae) and its evolution. New Zealand entomologist 8: 52-61

Thomson, G.M. 1922: "The Naturalisation of Animals and Plants in New Zealand". Cambridge University Press. 607p.


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


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