<I>Peraxilla colensoi</I>

Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) control benefits native beech mistletoes (Loranthaceae)

The Australian brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) has been blamed for the decline of three native New Zealand beech mistletoe species (Alepis flavida, Peraxilla tetrapetala and Peraxilla colensoi, Loranthaceae), but there are few quantitative data on possum effects, and anecdotal evidence is often conflicting. We present results from two monitoring programmes that suggest possum control operations can improve mistletoe health.

Flower predation by Zelleria maculata (Lepidoptera) on Peraxilla mistletoes: effects of latitude and fragmentation, and impact on fruit set

Flower predators (florivores) may affect plant reproduction directly through loss of pollen and ovules, or indirectly by deterring pollinators which avoid damaged flowers. Caterpillars of the widespread endemic moth Zelleria maculata feed inside flower buds of the endemic mistletoes Peraxilla tetrapetala and P. colensoi in New Zealand. We measured flower predation rates between 1995 and 2007 at 24 sites throughout New Zealand and assessed Zelleria feeding impact on fruit set.