Application to release small wasp to tackle giant aphid
06 August 2019
Views are sought on an application to release a small parasitic wasp to control and eradicate the giant willow aphid.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is considering the application by New Zealand Crown Research Institute Scion.
One of the largest aphid species, Tuberolachnus salignus can grow 5.8mm in length. It was first reported in New Zealand in December 2013 in Auckland and has spread quickly across the country.
Environmental risks posed by the giant willow aphid include damaging willow trees which may affect riverbank stability in the countryside. Bees that drink honeydew made by the aphid produce a sour, unmarketable honey.
The applicant seeks to release the small parasitic wasp, Pauesia nigrovaria, to control and eradicate the giant willow aphid. The female wasp lays an egg inside the aphid which hatches and ultimately eats the aphid from the inside, Scion says.
Submitters have until 5.00 pm on 17 September 2019 to have their say.