Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Call for pest butterfly sightings: Richmond, Tasman, Nelson

A fully grown great
white butterfly caterpillar
A fully grown great white butterfly caterpillar

Call for pest butterfly sightings in Richmond, Tasman and Nelson

Householders in Richmond and other parts of Tasman as well as in Nelson city are being asked to look for great white butterfly caterpillars and eggs in their gardens following first reports of the pest in Richmond last week.

Great white butterfly caterpillars have been found at six Richmond properties to date.

Great white butterfly caterpillars and eggs are found mostly in clusters on plants they favour, particularly nasturtium, honesty and brassica vegetables, including broccoli and cabbage. The caterpillars are speckled black and greyish-green with three yellow lines along their bodies and the tiny, yellow eggs are in clusters of 30 to 100.

Sightings of the pest butterfly’s caterpillars and eggs should be reported to the Ministry for Primary Industries hotline 0800 80 99 66.

The Department of Conservation is leading a multi-agency attempt to eradicate the butterfly species, which was first found in Nelson city, in a bid to stop it becoming a major pest in New Zealand. It is a serious threat to commercial and home brassica crops, and to native cresses.

DOC Motueka Area Manager Martin Rodd said there had been a good response from Nelson Tasman residents to requests to look for butterfly infestations and report sightings.

‘We thank the Nelson Tasman community for its fantastic support for the great white butterfly eradication programme. We have now had more than 400 confirmed finds of it on properties since it was first discovered.

‘There has been a steady flow of calls over the holiday period as people have been out working in their gardens and have spotted the caterpillars and eggs on plants.

‘We’re also very grateful for the cooperation we are getting from householders for removing caterpillars and eggs and managing infestations on their properties.

‘With the first reports of the pest butterfly in Richmond we now want to determine the extent of infestations there and also to find out if there are any further out from Richmond.

‘We have been searching gardens of properties in the areas of those finds. We are also asking householders in Richmond and surrounding areas, as well as Nelson residents, to look for and report sightings of great white butterfly caterpillars and eggs to the MPI hotline 0800 80 99 66.’

Tiny, young great
white butterfly caterpillars.
Tiny, young great white butterfly caterpillars.

The eradication programme is being carried out by Nelson company Entecol Ltd under contract to DOC. Eradication entails physical removal of caterpillars and eggs and, as necessary, applying an organic insecticide to host plants.

Patches of nasturtium have been found to be major breeding hotspots where great white butterfly numbers have been rebuilding leading to them reinvading nearby properties. These nasturtium patches are being cleared or monitored for which property owners’ agreement is sought.

DOC has contracted Nelmac to clear nasturtium in steep, inaccessible sites, including where it is growing wild in public areas such as roadsides, with the agreement of Nelson City Council, and on private property. It is mostly being pulled out by hand but herbicide is being used with property owners’ agreement.

The multi-agency attempt to eradicate the pest butterfly was launched at the end of last year. It is being carried out in partnership with Vegetables New Zealand, MPI, Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council.

Great white butterfly identification information

The adult great white butterfly looks similar to the small white butterfly, though about twice the size, and it is easier to tell the difference between them by their caterpillars and eggs. The great white’s caterpillars and eggs are mostly in clusters whereas those of the small butterfly caterpillar are mostly found singly.

The great white butterfly caterpillar’s appearance changes through five growth stages. When very young, the tiny caterpillars are yellowish with a shiny black head. Then dark spots begin to appear on the body. In later stages, it is speckled greyish-green and black and has three yellow lines along its body. Larger caterpillars have lots of pale hairs and, when fully grown, are 50 mm long.

In contrast, the small white butterfly caterpillar is uniformly green with a faint yellow line along the top of its body and is about 30 mm long when fully grown.

–Ends–

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news