Snapshots of Entomology

  • The broom seed beetle, Bruchidius villosus (L.)

    Introduced for biocontrol of broom, Cystisus scoparius, adult beetles are commonly found inside broom flowers. Females lay pale coloured, elongate eggs singly on the outside of green seed pods, and a single larva develops inside an individual seed. Adult beetles escape from dry, blackened pods when they dehisce in summer. This beetle also develops on tree lucerne (tagasaste) (Chamaecytisus palmensis or Cytisus proliferus). By Pauline Syrett.

  • The ribbonwood anthribid Hoherius meinertzhageni

    This endemic New Zealand beetle is commonly found on lacebarks and ribbonwoods. The males have very long antennae. Within the pupa, the antennae are neatly coiled on each side of the flattened rostrum. They are known to occur in the North Island from Auckland to Wellington, and as far south as the Mackenzie in the South Island, with one record from the Southland coast. Adapted from Holloway (1982).

  • The fern scale, Pseudaulacaspis phymatodidis

    This endemic armoured scale (Diaspididae) is common on many different ferns in New Zealand, from ground dwellers, tree ferns, hanging ferns to filmy ferns. William Maskell gave it the specific name phymatodidis in 1880, during a period when long-winded names were the norm. Unfortunately it later was put into the equally long-named genus Pseudaulacaspis, but luckily it is restricted to ferns and we can use its common name and avoid the scientific mouthful. The photo is of a recent collection by Ross Beever, from Pitt Island, Chathams. By Rosa Henderson.

  • The Pit Island longhorn, Xylotoles costatus Pascoe

    Early records of this longhorn are all from Pitt Island and Chatham Island, but more recently it has been seen only on Rangitira. and is believed to be extinct on the larger islands. Larvae feed on Coprosma chathamica, and adults have occasionally been seen climbing trunks of Coprosma trees at night. The species is regarded as endangered, and is classed as Nationally Critical. By Rowan Emberson.

The Entomological Society of New Zealand was formed with the aim to promote the profession of entomology. Now, nearly 60 years later the society has an active membership of more than 250 people from throughout New Zealand that devote their professional or personal time to understanding and disseminating knowledge of the New Zealand insect fauna.

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