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New Zealand Plant Protection 65 (2012): 292

Investigating the potential of Eadya paropsidis (Braconidae) from Tasmania as a biocontrol agent for Paropsis charybdis in New Zealand

T.M. Withers, G.R. Allen, V.S. Patel, D. Satchell and G. Manley


Despite considerable efforts, the eucalyptus tortoise beetle Paropsis charybdis continues to defoliate Eucalyptus nitens plantations throughout New Zealand, preventing expansion of this forest resource or requiring constant management through aerial insecticide application. A parasitoid wasp of the spring-time larval stage of the eucalyptus leaf beetle Paropsisterna agricola (Chapuis) (Chrysomelidae) in Tasmania is being investigated as a potential biological control agent for New Zealand. The potential agent, Eadya paropsidis Huddleston and Short (Braconidae), was caught as adults on the wing from E. nitens plantations in northern Tasmania and brought into the laboratory in Hobart for preliminary host specificity testing. Using a sequential no-choice test method to examine the response of individual females, 9 of the 10 female parasitoids attacked P. agricola, while 7 of those 9 attacked P. charybdis larvae. Those P. charybdis larvae that were attacked proved to be a highly suitable physiological host for E. paropsidis development, emerging as a larger sized parasitoid larva from P. charybdis than from P. agricola. This potential agent will be further evaluated in a collaborative project with New Zealand eucalyptus growers and the Sustainable Farming Fund.

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