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New Zealand Plant Protection 67 (2014): 327

Suitability of four Eucalyptus host species for the development of Thaumastocoris peregrinus Carpintero and Dellapé

M.C. Saavedra, T.M. Withers and G.I. Holwell


Thaumastocoris peregrinus is a serious pest of Eucalyptus species. This invasive insect has established in Auckland, New Zealand, since it was first detected in March of 2012. Elsewhere in the world it causes enormous economic losses to the eucalypt forest industry but also damages urban trees in public spaces. Laboratory experiments were undertaken to evaluate the suitability of four Eucalyptus host species for the development of T. peregrinus, where three of these species are economically important for the forestry industry and the other is a popular amenity tree. The development of eggs, nymphs and adults was evaluated and fecundity calculated in excised leaf assays in the laboratory. As a result E. nitens and E. nicholii were identified as suitable host plants. On the other hand, the insect did not survive on either E. fastigata or E. regnans. Accordingly, this study contributes evidence that there may be lower risk to species within the subgenus Monocalyptus from T. peregrinus. As E. regnans and E. fastigata are two of valued eucalypt species grown for pulp in commercial forestry in New Zealand and worldwide, these are positive findings for the forestry sector.

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