Scion seeks approval to release small wasp to tackle giant aphid

The Environmental Protection Authority is seeking views on an application to release a small parasitic wasp to control and eradicate the giant willow aphid.

The 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 5pm on 17 September to have their say.

More detailed information can be found HERE. 

Source:  Environmental Protection Authority