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Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science

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A survey of cossid moth attack in Eucalyptus nitens on the Mpumalanga Highveld of South Africa

GR Boreham

Abstract


During July 2004, an infestation of an unknown larval insect in ten- year and older Eucalyptus nitens was reported on the Mpumalanga highveld of South Africa. Samples of wood containing larvae were collected from the field and taken to the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria. The adult specimens were subsequently identified by the Transvaal Museum as the native Coryphodema tristis. No records have been found of the insect on any member of the Myrtaceae. A total of approximately 3000 hectares of E. nitens, within 95 compartments greater than eight years of age on the Mpumalanga Highveld were surveyed in September 2004. The older age classes and lower elevation sites had significantly higher infestations than the younger, higher elevation sites. Low infestations are present in young stands of E. nitens (< 6 years of age), and not restricted to lower productivity sites, an indication that the pest risk potential is higher than originally anticipated.

Keywords: cossid moth, Euc. Nitens, wood borer, Coryphodema

Southern African Forestry Journal No. 206, 2006: 23-26



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