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New Zealand Plant Protection 60 (2007): 158-163

Natural enemies of Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica, in New Zealand

N.W. Waipara, C.J. Winks, L.A. Smith and J.P. Wilkie


Japanese honeysuckle is rapidly increasing as a weed throughout most of the North Island and northern South Island of New Zealand. A classical biological control programme was initiated in 20042005 with a survey of the natural invertebrate fauna and pathogens associated with the weed in New Zealand. The honeysuckle was being attacked by a diverse range of native and introduced invertebrates. But overall the damage was minimal and none of the herbivore niches on the weed were well utilised implying that exotic agents may have a chance of inflicting additional damage that might be sufficient to control the species. Most damage was caused by foliage feeders, such as lepidopterous larvae and thrips, but this affected less than 5% of total plant biomass. Primary and secondary foliar pathogens, such as Pseudocercospora lonicerae, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Insolibasidium deformans and Phoma spp., were frequently recorded. Potential use of these natural enemies for weed biocontrol is discussed.

Keywords: environmental weed, mycoherbicide, honeysuckle blight, parasitoid, predators.

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