What's New in Biological Control of Weeds? Issue 72
In this issue
Tradescantia Beetles Make Big Impression
They might be small, but the beetles released to control tradescantia (Tradescantia fluminensis) are already starting to make a big impression on their host plant here in New Zealand.
First Major Green Thistle Beetle Outbreak
Some of the people who released the green thistle beetle (Cassida rubiginosa) a few years ago to control Californian thistle (Cirsium arvense) on their properties, have been surprised by the levels of damage to this ‘prickly customer’ this summer.
Pampas Project Makes Progress
Biocontrol for pampas (Cortaderia spp.) has always appeared to be rather a long shot. “No potential agents were known at the outset of the project and we needed to find agents with a high level of specificity to avoid harming our closely-related native toetoe Austroderia spp.,” said Lynley Hayes, who leads this project.
Darwin’s Barberry Weevil Released
There is finally some relief in sight for farmers and other land managers who have been struggling to control a Chilean plant, Darwin’s barberry (Berberis darwinii).
Releases Set to Begin in the Cooks Islands
In 2014 New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) agreed to fund a 5-year project to develop weed biocontol for the Cook Islands. The first agent to be developed under this programme has now been approved for release and successfully delivered to the Cook Islands, where it will be mass-produced and released.