News article

Council applies to import Australian wasp to stop invasive shrub

Horizons Regional Council has applied for approval to import and release the bud-galling wasp (Trichilogaster acaciaelongifoliae) as a biological control agent for Sydney golden wattle (Acacia longifolia).

Sydney golden wattle is a shrub or small tree. It was introduced to New Zealand as an ornamental plant and became naturalised before 1897. It invades open habitats and scrubland, especially in coastal areas. It can form dense stands that modify vegetation and ecological processes and threaten regeneration patterns.

The biocontrol agent is a small wasp that induces galls in flower buds, preventing the formation of flowers and thus preventing seed production. Galls can also form in growing points, preventing shoot growth.

The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on this application.

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The deadline for submissions is 30 September at 11:59pm.