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New Zealand Plant Protection 67 (2014): 326

On-orchard habitats for Nysius huttoni - an important kiwifruit passenger pest

C.A. Rowe, M.G. Hill and D.P. Logan


Nysius huttoni is a native species of wheat bug, which is an occasional quarantine pest on export kiwifruit. Wheat bug has a wide range of host plants, including wheat and brassica crops as well as many weed species. The kiwifruit harvest of 2013 had a high incidence of wheat bug finds on fruit in packhouses. In response, an orchard survey was undertaken to identify orchard habitats used by wheat bug. Twentyfive orchards where wheat bug was found during packing in 2013 were surveyed from the Te Puke area from February to March. At each orchard, four habitats were searched: (1) ground vegetation under the kiwifruit canopy, (2) the loadout zone, (3) edge of the loadout zone and (4) grassland surrounding the was found in and around the loadout zone associated with weed species, notably Polygonum aviculare, the dominant weed species in loadout zones. No wheat bug was found under the kiwifruit canopy and the remaining 4% were found in grassland. This preliminary survey suggests that the risk of wheat bug infestation can be reduced considerably by keeping loadout zones free of weeds during spring and summer.

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