Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Another Aussie Invader

Recent reports of damage to coastal banksia trees have been received from throughout the North Island. The trees appear to be badly sunburnt, with the young leaves and tips of older leaves turned crinkled and brown. In fact, the tiny green larva of a small, white Australian moth called Stegommata sulfuratella causes this damage. In Australia, it is found in New South Wales and Queensland.

Scientists first recorded the insect’s arrival in Auckland in 1999. Since then it has flown, or been carried in plants being moved to Northland, the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Wanganui and recently, Wellington. The moth could have been blown to New Zealand on a passing storm front, or may have accidentally been carried here in trans-Tasman cargo or passenger belongings.

The worst effect of the larva is when it chews out the insides of the young banksia leaves. This causes the leaves to fall off. Many people notice the scraggly appearance of the bare twigs or the hundreds of shed leaves littering their lawns in late summer. This little insect is in New Zealand to stay, and there is no effective means of control. So lovers of the coastal banksia (including the birds which feed on its flowers in winter) will have to get used to the way the insect now damages this plant.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Wainui: Major Infrastructure Partnership For North Auckland

Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff today announced a partnership that will fund $91 million of roading and wastewater infrastructure to support the building of 9000 homes... More>>

ALSO:

NZ's Space Programme: Rocket Lab Reaches Orbit Again

Rocket Lab has continued the success of its 2018 orbital launch program with the launch of seven payloads to orbit. The mission marks Rocket Lab’s second successful orbital launch and deployment of customer satellites. More>>

ALSO:

Supreme Court: Labelling Swamp Kauri Slab A Tabletop Doesn't Make It One

New Zealand's highest court has ruled that exporting slabs of swamp kauri as "tabletops" or swamp kauri logs as "totem or temple poles" is illegal under the Forests Act. More>>

ALSO:

Starting Ending Offshore Drilling: Green Party Celebrate Passing Of Oil And Gas Bill

“This Bill is an essential first step in winding down offshore exploration for new sources of fossil fuels. We are in Government together to do this work, to create the change our people and our planet need to flourish." More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: Official Cash Rate Unchanged

The Official Cash Rate (OCR) remains at 1.75 percent. We expect to keep the OCR at this level through 2019 and into 2020. More>>