Flight of the parasite
A parastoid wasp released last summer to control a eucalypt-munching caterpillar appears to be thriving. Scion introduced the Cotesia urabae wasp (pictured at right) as a biological control agent aimed at gumleaf skeletoniser (Uraba lugens). These caterpillars have become a costly pest in the Auckland region due to their voracious appetite for eucalypt foliage.
The wasp has survived its first winter in New Zealand and monitoring results show that it can pupate and emerge successfully. Scion plans to make a mass release of Cotesia urabae in Nelson this summer, in association with the Tasman District Council.
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