One more piece is now ready to add to the biocontrol picture. You may remember that over the spring of 2017 and autumn of 2018 we ran a field survey to find out what is attacking horehound in New Zealand already.
The idea was to find out if the biocontrol agents may have already blown over from Australia, or if there was anything else already here that could make a good candidate biocontrol agent. The survey also tries to identify if there are any predators and parasitoids that could seriously harm the biocontrol agents and jeopardise the success chances of the biocontrol programme.
The short answer is ‘No’, ‘No’ and, ‘No’. Consequently, the recommendation is to proceed with the introduction of the biocontrol agents from Australia.
If you would like to read about it in more details, the full report can be read here.
As an aside anecdote, the survey provides a first record in New Zealand for a predatory mite that was first described from horehound in Algeria. You can read about it in the ‘Predators’ section of the report.
Progress on the regulatory process:
We now have a date set for a hearing: August 16th 2018.
Normally, a final decision is expected no later that 30 working days following a hearing.
Ronny & Gavin
|Dr Ronny Groenteman
Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
Phone: +64 3 321 9904
|Gavin (Snow) Loxton
PO Box 9
Lake Tekapo 7945