Fighting back the ‘evil weevil’

Seven years after its release in New Zealand a little wasp imported from Ireland is reducing the clover root weevil pest by around 90%in monitored areas. The prediction that clover root weevil would eventually colonise nearly all of New Zealand pastures is being realised. However, the wasp’s level of parasitism is much higher in New […]

Black beetle numbers on the rise

AgResearch scientists warn that one more mild winter could result in a population explosion of black beetle. “Recent AgResearch trial work shows that black beetle populations are on the increase and development is more advanced in autumn 2014 than in the previous five years,” says AgResearch Science Team Leader Biocontrol and Biosecurity Dr Alison Popay. […]

Bumper summer for native moth

Farmers in the North Island are reporting to AgResearch plantain crop damage from a normally benign New Zealand native. The Epyaxa rosearia is a widespread native New Zealand moth, occasionally reaching pest levels, that feeds on a range of plants including plantain. Its recent appearance in large numbers in plantain crops has given rise to […]

Irish wasp may need help moving west

Increasing clover root weevil populations are being seen on the West Coast, but the AgResearch-introduced biocontrol is hot on its tail. AgResearch entomologists Dr Scott Hardwick and Mark McNeill, based at the Lincoln Campus in Canterbury, have been tracking the spread of clover root weevil (CRW) in the South Island, so that they know if […]

Nematode name 50 years in the making

Advances in technology and international expertise have finally enabled the formal description and naming of a New Zealand nematode, more than 50 years after its original discovery. ​The nematode, Alaninema ngata, was officially named and described in this month’s Nematology journal in the paper ‘Description and systematic affinity of Alaninema ngata n. sp. (Alaninematidae: Panagrolaimorpha) […]

Summer pasture pest numbers on the rise

AgResearch scientists are predicting larger than normal numbers of the pasture pests porina and black beetle this summer. “The mild winter and warmer than normal spring are perfect conditions for adult black beetle and porina survival,” says Dr Alison Popay, AgResearch Science Team Leader – Biocontrol & Biosecurity. “We are giving farmers the heads-up – […]