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

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election