Insect Identification and Control


Slug

What can you do about slugs?

Technical Name: Deroceras sp. General: There are 11 introduced species of slugs in New Zealand. The grey field slug is the most common and present throughout New Zealand. Slugs can be a severe problem when undertaking pasture or crop renewal feeding on germinating seed and newly emerged seedlings. Identification: Slime trails are often visible with […]

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Leaf Miner

Leaf Miner

Technical Name: Diptera or Lepidoptera General: Found throughout New Zealand. The larvae live in leaf tissue causing characteristic damage to leaves. They have a wide range of host plants including Brassicas. Identification: Small about 2-3 mm and are usually black with or without yellow areas on the body/legs. Larvae are small yellow/green headless maggots with […]

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Pasture Mealy Bug

Pasture Mealy Bug

Technical Name: Balanococcus poae General: Pasture mealy bug can be a serious pasture pest in Canterbury areas and is known to occur in the Manawatu and Nelson. Identification: Pink in colour and only growing to 2mm. They are egg shaped and is difficult to identify their head or legs. Can be identified by a white […]

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Porina

Porina

Technical Name: Wiseana sp. General: Found throughout New Zealand. Attack most pasture species including Ryegrass and White Clover. Porina caterpillars damage pasture in late autumn and winter. Identification: Larvae are grey/yellow in colour with a dark brown head. They grow up to 6 cm. They are nocturnal and live in tunnels in the soil grazing […]

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Spring Tail

Spring Tail

Technical Name: Bourletiella hortensis General: There are several species of springtails the only the garden springtail causes damage to Brassicas. Found throughout New Zealand. Damage to Brassicas can occur at cotyledons emergence which can results in stem damage. Damage to seedling leaves appears as small pits or shot holes in the leaves or as scalloping […]

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Tasmanian Grass Grub

Tasmanian Grass Grub

Technical Name: Aphrodius tasmaniae General: Found in the lighter soils of Bay of Plenty Waikato Marlborough Hawkes Bay and Canterbury. Larvae graze pasture plants above the ground killing plants and leaving bare patches. Adult beetles lay their eggs in or near dung from January-March. Eggs hatch into larvae which feed on dung for 4-6 weeks […]

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Nysius Fly

Nysius Fly

Technical Name: Nysius huttoni General: Found throughout NZ. They damage Brassica crops by puncturing around the base of seedlings which causes an open wound to form in the tissues. Young seedlings can die quickly while the damage has a ring-barking effect on older seedlings. Identification: Eggs when first laid are creamy white but turn to […]

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Black Field Cricket

Black Field Cricket

Technical Name: Teleogryllus commodus General: Crickets are noctural hiding in cracks in the soil during the day. Crickets are selective feeders feeding outwards from their hiding place preferring pasture grasses. The late nymphal stages and adults cause the most pasture damage. The young nymphs look like miniature adults but have a white band across their […]

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Grass Grub

Grass Grub

Technical Name: Costelytra zealandica General: Found throughout NZ. The larvae consume the roots of grass and Clover causing poor growth and plant death. Identification: Found in soil the larvae are whitish grubs 25 mm long with six legs and a honey brown head. When disturbed they will curl into a C shape. Most damage is […]

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Greasy Cutworm

Greasy Cutworm

Technical Name: Agrotis ipsilon aneituma General: Found in open areas below the snowline throughout NZ. Although generally considered a minor pest but it can be a major problem in some field crops. Nocturnal larvae that burrow below the soil surface during the day and emerge at night to feed. Identification: The moth form is Brown/grey […]

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Black Beetle

Black beetle

Technical Name: Heteronychus arator General: A pest of light free draining soil in the upper North Island. Larvae feed on plant roots during December – March causing summer pasture damage. Adults are can cause significant damage to establishing grass in autumn. Historically Black Beetle is quite cyclical. It comes in waves every 20 – 25 […]

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Clover Flea

Clover Flea

Technical Name: Sminthurus viridus General: Present throughout NZ but severe damage has been noted in Northland South Auckland Waikato and the Bay of Plenty and is a particular threat to White Clover and Lucerne in pastures. Identification: Up to 3 mm long and greenish/yellow in colour with irregular dark patches. Small cream coloured eggs can […]

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Clover Root Weevil

Clover Root Weevil

Technical Name: Sitona lepidus General: Present throughout the year in the North Island and has been identified in Nelson Canterbury and Southland. Feeding only on Clover it has a major impact on Clover growth and a reduction of nitrogen fixation in pastures. Identification: Up to 5mm long and brown/grey in colour. Causes charcteristic “U” shaped […]

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Cosmopolitan Army Worm

Cosmopolitan Army Worm

Technical Name: Mythimna seperata General: Main species of armyworm attacking North Island pasture seed crops and maize green feed crops. Identification: This insect will consume all green foliage except clover from pasture. This pest is not as significant as is used to be as numbers are now being controled by the introduced braconid parasite Apanteles […]

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Diamondback Moth

Diamondback Moth

Technical Name: Plutella xylostella General: Found throughout New Zealand. Adults are nocturnal in habit and the female lays up to 100 light yellow oval eggs usually on the underside of leaves. Larvae cause the most damage by feeding on the leaves with young larvae boring into the leaf and feeding on the internal leaf tissue. […]

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Aphid (Brassica & Cabbage)

Aphid cabbage

Technical Name: Brevicoryne brassicae General: Occur throughout New Zealand but mainly in the South Island. A sucking insect that can cause yellowing left curl and stunting of plants. Can carry viral pathogens. Identification: The adults can be both winged and wingless. Green to grey in colour with a whitish powder like coating. The main periods […]

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Argentine Stem Weevil

Argentine Stem Weevil

Technical Name: Listronotus bonariensis General: Pest that destroys ryegrass by boring holes in the base of the stems. Identification: Due to their size (2-3mm) and colouring they are difficult to see. Can be identified by the characteristic damage they make at the base of ryegrass. Can cause significant pasture damage as populations can grow up […]

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