1 Scion, 49 Sala Street, Rotorua
Giant willow aphid (GWA), Tuberolachnus salignus (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Lachninae), was first recorded in New Zealand in 2013 and is now distributed throughout the country. GWA feeds primarily on species of Salix and Populus, but has also been recorded in New Zealand on Malus, Pyrus, and Coprosma. GWA negatively impacts New Zealand's rural environment, apicultural and horticultural industries, and poses a human and health threat because of the elevated numbers of wasps associated with the aphid's honeydew. Together with partners, Scion is leading a 3 year MPI Sustainable Farming Fund programme, focusing on management of GWA via classical biological control, host resistance, and short-term mitigation strategies. An update is provided of our challenges and progress to date (year 1 of the programme).