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Trialling insect traps at the Port of Tauranga
2 September 2021

Scion scientists have trialled a selection of insect traps to increase detection of invasive species before they can establish in New Zealand.

A team led by Dr Carl Wardhaugh trialled eight types of surveillance traps at the Port of Tauranga to determine optimal trap types to sample a broad spectrum of the insect fauna. These traps captured flying and crawling insects using chemical lures, attractive lights, and passive methods that trap insects inflight or while crawling. The insect catch data and effectiveness of the various traps will inform the design of surveillance programmes at seaports and other high-risk points of insect entry.

Insect sampling was undertaken during four one-week-long periods over the course of a year (in February, May, September, and December) to assess seasonal differences in the activity and diversity of insect species.

In total, the eight trap types caught over 250,000 invertebrates including over 46,000 beetles and happily, no new-to-New Zealand species were observed among the 211 species identified.

Read more about the trial findings and next steps here. This science is part of the Port of Tauranga Biosecurity Excellence partnership and is led by Scion and AgResearch, supported by Better Border Biosecurity and co-funded by KVH/Zespri.

Image: Scion Entomologist Dr Carl Wardhaugh with an insect light trap used at the Port of Tauranga.

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