The secret service – analysis of the available knowledge on moths as pollinators in New Zealand

On a global-scale, moths (Lepidoptera) are considered to be important pollinators for many plant families. However, the assumption that moths are also involved in pollination in New Zealand is underpinned by relatively little research. Here we review the evidence for moth pollination of flowering plants in New Zealand and compare the quality of evidence available with that of the global literature.

Food plants and foraging distances for the native bee Lasioglossum sordidum in Christchurch Botanic Gardens

With concerns about declines in pollinating bee species worldwide, there is renewed interest in solitary native bee species and their role in pollination services. We studied the foraging preferences and foraging distances of Lasioglossum sordidum (Halictidae), New Zealand’s smallest solitary bee, in urban Christchurch. Lasioglossum sordidum were abundant within the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Pollen samples taken from 40 bees at each of two nest sites were identified using a pollen reference collection from the sites.

Lack of pre-dispersal seed predators in introduced Asteraceae in New Zealand

The idea that naturalised invading plants have fewer phytophagous insects associated with them in their new environment relative to their native range is often assumed, but quantitative data are few and mostly refer to pests on crop species. In this study, the incidence of seed-eating insect larvae in flowerheads of naturalised Asteraceae in New Zealand is compared with that in Britain where the species are native. Similar surveys were carried out in both countries by sampling 200 flowerheads of three populations of the same thirteen species.

Novel host associations and habitats for Senecio-specialist herbivorous insects in Auckland

We studied the genus- and species-specialist monophagous herbivorous insects of Senecio (Asteraceae) in Auckland, New Zealand. With the exception of the widespread S. hispidulus, the eight native Senecio species in mainland Auckland (two endemic) are typically uncommon and restricted to less modified conservation land. However, 11 naturalised Senecio have established and are often widespread in urban and rural habitats.