Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The bionomics of an invasive species Sitona lepidus during its establishment in New Zealand.

Abstract

The egg, larval, pupal and adult abundance of the clover root weevil Sitona lepidus Gyllenhal (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) was monitored at three sites for the first ten years following the discovery of this exotic pest in the Waikato region of New Zealand. The species went through an initial boom and bust cycle at two sites, with populations reaching up to 1800 larvae m-2. Thereafter, winter larval populations were relatively stable, ranging between 450-750 m-2. Unlike in the Northern Hemisphere, S. lepidus was found to have two generations a year in the Waikato region of New Zealand. Pasture white clover content at the time of peak adult numbers was positively related to the subsequent peak larval populations for each generation. The factors contributing to the emergence of S. lepidus as one of the most important pasture pests in New Zealand are discussed.