Heterobostrychus aequalis, Oriental wood borer
Unwanted organism - not established in New Zealand
Oriental wood borer in furniture ex Indonesia
From Surveillance, Volume 40, No. 2, June 2013
Fresh borer beetle emergence holes in wooden furniture manufactured in Java, Indonesia, were reported from a Blenheim house. Nelson-based MPI border clearance staff confirmed the presence of live borer activity but did not find any adults. They helped arrange for the infested items to be wrapped in plastic and transported to Nelson seaport for fumigation with methyl bromide. Treatment of these items is now complete but it was not possible to trace all goods from the original consignment. The goods were imported by a specialist Javanese furniture importer and retailer based in Blenheim, who typically imports up to five 20 ft (6 m) containers of household furniture a year from the same manufacturer in Java, via Nelson seaport. The importer confirmed that the goods were from a February 2012 consignment, with entry based on certified fumigation before shipping. Website information pertaining to the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Schemer (AFAS) was provided to the importer, and included a list of Indonesian AFAS-accredited fumigation providers. Subsequently, a single dead adult beetle was found in the house and identified as the Oriental wood borer Heterobostrychus aequalis. This species can live in low-moisture sawn timbers and has spread from its native range (India, China, Indonesia) to Africa, Australia, New Caledonia, North America and Venezuela. However, its ability to establish in New Zealand conditions is unknown. MPI records since 2000 show 46 detections of this species in wooden goods from Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, the United States, Australia, Taiwan, Burma and South Africa.