Leaf mining jewel beetle damage

Leaf tying - moth - Source: Liz Snow

18th February 2015

Dr Dhileepan, Liz Snow and Robyn McIntosh inspected two sites on Buaraba Creek where all biocontrols had been released.  Dr Dhileepan was interested in finding evidence of the leaf tying moth since 2008 was the last time monitoring of the moth had been undertaken.  It was clear that the moth was prevalent downstream for at least eight kilometres from the original site to Niethe Bridge on Coominya Connection Road.  As other properties downstream were private properties and not Landcare members they were not assessed for evidence of any biological controls however it appears that the moth has most likely travelled further downstream to the junction of Lockyer Creek and beyond.

19th January 2015

Liz Snow from Biosecurity Queensland and our secretary Robyn McIntosh visited two sites where the leaf-mining jewel beetle Hylaeogena jureceki Obenberger (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) was released in 2013 and 2014 and the leaf-tying moth Hypocosmia pyrochroma (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and the leaf-sucking tingid Carvalhotingis visenda were released in 2007 and 2008.   

Our last report on this website stated that there was no evidence of the jewel beetle and that it may have been too tempting for the birds, however this time the conditions appeared to be right and we found plenty of evidence of the beetle, moth and tingid.  In November towards the end of the drought, the cats claw creeper was stressed and almost dead.  Late December and early January brought plenty of rain to the area and now the cats claw is flourishing and bright pale green. 

February 2016

Dr Dhileepan, Liz Snow and Robyn McIntosh visited all the sites where beetles, moths and tingids were released.  We were pleased to observe that the beetles and moths had travelled up to 30 kilometres from release sites and were doing well.  

The leaf-tying moth Hypocosmia pyrochroma at the end of a cycle was evident on the trunks of many trees.  Pupae was also found at one site.  Since the cats claw creeper had new growth after rain, it appears that this was the preferred time to begin a new cycle.

The leaf-mining beetle Hylaeogena jureceki in various stages of the life cycle was prevalent at both sites and adult beetles and larvae present.  One site where 150 beetles were released had the trees bulldozed to make way for an extra lane on the causeway.  The beetles survived by flying to other trees covered in cat's claw creeper.

The leaf-sucking tingid Carvalhotingis visenda was prevalent at one site and present together with the beetle and moth on some vines.  The tingid is the only biological control found on the ground cover with a preference for shady areas. 

This result was extremely satisfying and it was previously thought that the moth was scarce and the beetle had not survived.  This is not the case and a good outcome for the continuing spread of biological insects.

Beetle larvae 

 

 

 

Beetle larvae - other leaves nearby have tingid leaf sucking damage

       Moth - leaf tying damage - other leaves nearby with leaf mining damage from beetle

 

For more information on other programs please see:  SEQ Catchments case studies.