Donovan Scientific Insect Research

Christchurch, New Zealand

Donovan Scientific Insect Research

Christchurch, New Zealand

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Hopkins H.C.F.,c o Herbarium | Bradford J.C.,1330 NW 29th St | Donovan B.,Donovan Scientific Insect Research | Pillon Y.,Institute Of Recherche Pour Le Developpement Ird | And 4 more authors.
Kew Bulletin | Year: 2015

Cunoniaceae are represented in New Caledonia by some 90 species, all of them endemic, and the family is thus a significant element in this diverse island flora. We present a descriptive survey of floral biology for the seven genera present, covering floral structure and colour, inflorescence shape, sexual system and phenology, plus details of floral visitors, where known, based on field observations; individual records of potential pollinators are tabulated in appendices. The flowers are polysymmetric (or almost so) and provide nectar and/or pollen as floral rewards. Two genera are dioecious and some species are mass flowering. Generalist entomophily is associated with several floral syndromes although the introduction of Apis mellifera has partially obscured historic relationships between some Cunoniaceae and their insect-pollinators. Codia and Pancheria both have sweetly scented, often creamish, spherical capitula and their floral visitors include honey bees, beetles, flies and native bees, especially halictids. Spiraeanthemum and Hooglandia have small, often whitish flowers in paniculate inflorescences but data on potential pollinators are few. Racemes occur in Weinmannia (flowers white, apparently scentless) and Cunonia p.p. (flowers white, pink or reddish with a faint foetid odour); visitors are mostly honey bees, plus ants, butterflies and native bees, and occasionally birds in the case of two reddish-flowered species. Ornithophily occurs in Geissois (flowers red, scentless, in bottle-brush racemes) and Cunonia macrophylla (flowers yellow-green, in one-sided racemes); their floral visitors are commonly Meliphagidae plus some Psittacidae and Zosteropidae. Pteropodid bats are also occasional visitors to Geissois. Geckos have been reported as flower-visitors in two genera though their contribution to pollen transfer is likely to be sporadic at most. Topics that require further investigation include some details of floral biology and the floral cycle, and the possible adaptive significance of different inflorescence shapes. Unanswered questions include: What visits taxa with paniculate inflorescences?, and for all genera: Which types of floral visitor are the most efficient pollinators? For the family as a whole, generalist entomophily appears to be the ancestral mode of pollen transfer and morphological specialisations to ornithophily have occurred independently in two groups of species and possibly in a third. Our data on birds and geckos agree with a known trend for these types of floral visitation and pollination to be well developed on islands, and flower-visiting by lizards in New Caledonia is likely to be more common than has been documented so far, both in Cunoniaceae and in the flora as a whole. © 2015, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Fan Q.-H.,Plant Health and Environment Laboratory | Khaustov A.A.,Tyumen State University | Donovan B.,Donovan Scientific Insect Research
Systematic and Applied Acarology | Year: 2014

In the course of examination of mites on bees, Leioproctus imitatus Smith (Hymenoptera: Colletidae) in New Zealand, a mite species, Parapygmephorus luxtoni (Mahunka, 1970) comb. nov. (Acari: Neopygmephoridae), was rediscovered. Herein, we redescribe the mite and provide a key to the world species of Parapygmephorus. © 2014 Systematic & Applied Acarology Society.


Howlett B.G.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Donovan B.J.,Donovan Scientific Insect Research
New Zealand Entomologist | Year: 2010

Eight bee species have been deliberately released into New Zealand since the 1830's. The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) was introduced primarily for honey production but has become the most important insect pollinator of seed, vegetable, fruit crops and pastures. The remaining species (Bombus terrestris (L.), B. hortorum (L.), B. ruderatus (F.), B. subterraneus (L.), Megachile rotundata (F.), Nomia melanderi (Cockerell), Osmia coerulescens (L.) were introduced to pollinate either red clover (Trifolium pratense) or lucerne (Medicago sativa). The honey bee has almost exclusively been relied upon for crop pollination although species of Bombus and M. rotundata are occasionally used commercially. The spread throughout New Zealand of the varroa mite (Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman), a parasite that exclusively kills honey bees, has increased the cost of managing honey bee hives. The use of alternative bee species for crop pollination may reduce the potential impact of factors influencing the availability and cost of honey bee pollination services. However, consideration must be given to the potential impact that expanding populations of introduced bees could have on native and exotic fl ora and fauna. This review examines the current and potential use of the eight deliberately introduced bee species in New Zealand, their distribution, and potential impact on New Zealand's biota.


Donovan B.J.,Donovan Scientific Insect Research | Howlett B.G.,Plant and Food Research Ltd | Walker M.K.,Plant and Food Research Ltd
New Zealand Entomologist | Year: 2010

Environmental changes in New Zealand over the last 200 years such as the intensifi cation of agriculture have nearly eliminated some species of native bees from parts of their historic ranges. Consequently, the reproductive success of native plants reliant on native bees for pollination may be adversely impacted, thereby altering native ecosystems. The potential pollination rate of some introduced crops might also be reduced. Overwintering prepupae of the ground-nesting colletid bee Leioproctus huakiwi Donovan, 2007, were relocated in nests in soil and in artifi cial cells to new nest sites, where they established new populations which expanded by about 8-25 times over three years (and for the two sites together by 12.75 times), showing that large populations can develop rapidly. The two transference methods should be applicable to other species of colletids, indicating that relocation of these bees to new areas for both conservation and economic values is readily achievable.


Donovan B.J.,Donovan Scientific Insect Research | Munzinger J.,Laboratoire Of Botanique Et Decologie Vegetale Appliquees | Pauly A.,Institute Royal des science Naturelles des Belgique | McPherson G.,Missouri Botanical Garden
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden | Year: 2013

The flower-visiting records for the 43 species of bees considered to be native to New Caledonia show that females of 21 species visited 116 native species of plants in 69 genera and 41 families, and the bees were documented to carry pollen from 64 species and possibly four more. The plant families with the greatest number of species documented for visits by female bees were, in descending order: Myrtaceae (21), Dilleniaceae (10), Cunoniaceae (nine), Araliaceae (seven), Fabaceae (seven, encompassing the Caesalpinioideae, Mimosoideae, and Papilionoideae), Goodeniaceae (five), Proteaceae (five), Apocynaceae (four), Sapindaceae (four), and remaining families with one to three species. Females of six and possibly one more species carried pollen from each of Dilleniaceae and Myrtaceae, six carried pollen from Araliaceae, five from Goodeniaceae, four and possibly one more from Cunoniaceae, four from each of Fabaceae and Sapindaceae, and none to three from the remaining 34 families observed. For introduced plants, female bees of 12 species visited 54 species in 43 genera among 19 plant families and were documented to carry pollen from 31 and possibly one more species. For introduced plants, families with the highest number of species visited by female bees, in descending order, were: Asteraceae (12); Fabaceae (eight); Verbenaceae (seven); and Euphorbiaceae, Myrtaceae, and Solanaceae each with three. The remaining 13 families had either one or two species visited by bees. Females of seven species of bees carried pollen from Fabaceae, six from Asteraceae, three each from Myrtaceae and Solanaceae, and none to "2 + 1?" (two or possibly three) from remaining families. Only half a dozen species of native bees can be considered to be common, in that they can be expected to be observed reasonably regularly on a range of flowers. The ubiquitous introduced honey bee Apis mellifera L. and its constant foraging for nectar and pollen on a very wide range of flowers may outcompete many species of native bees, potentially reducing their numbers, and consequently obscuring their relationships with the flora.


Fagan L.L.,Plant and Food Research | Fagan L.L.,University of Western Australia | Nelson W.R.,Plant and Food Research | Meenken E.D.,Plant and Food Research | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Applied Entomology | Year: 2012

Chelifers (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpionida), also known as pseudoscorpions, have been reported to be beneficial honeybee hive generalist pest predators for over 100years and are occasionally noted by beekeepers in their hives. We collected chelifers within or closely associated with beehives in New Zealand. Under video observation conditions, they predated upon varroa mites while studiously ignoring bee larvae. Varroa mites reproduce at exponential rates during the spring season, and current chemical miticides rely on single treatments aiming for at least 90% control. An alternate strategy, removal of mites at a rate matching their reproductive capacity, although mathematically obvious, fails unless a suitable biological control agent is available. Our observations build on over 100years of sporadic work to provide further evidence that chelifers show clear potential to be a suitable predator for varroa management in beehives. Approximately 25 chelifers can be expected to manage varroa populations in a single hive. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag, GmbH.


A new species of endemic colletid bee in Leioproctus (Leioproctus) is described from two areas in the Mackenzie Country (MK), South Island, New Zealand. Features distinguishing the species from other species are outlined and available biological data for the new species are presented. The recognition of L. (L.) hukarere as a new species restores the number of species of Leioproctus present in New Zealand to 18. The total number of bee species in New Zealand is now 42. http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:17B78D41-66DO-4954-AF45-BFF407295D8F © 2016 The Entomological Society of New Zealand


Morphological comparison of the New Zealand holotype male of the colletid bee Leioproctus (Leioproctus) otautahi with a male of Leioproctus (Leioproctus) launcestonensis from Australia shows that the two are conspecifi c. Hence this is a new synonymy, with L. (L.) launcestonensis having priority. Because no further specimens are known from New Zealand since the collection of the single male 50 years ago, the species is almost certainly not established, and the number of species of Leioproctus known from New Zealand is reduced by one to 17.


Pauly A.,Institute Royal Des Science Naturelles Of Belgique | Walker K.,Museum Victoria | Munzinger J.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Donovan B.,Donovan Scientific Insect Research
Annales de la Societe Entomologique de France | Year: 2013

Eight species of Lasioglossum are recorded from New Caledonia. A new cleptoparasitic and endemic subgenus with one new species, Lasioglossum (Parachilalictus n. subg.) neocaledonicum n. sp., is described. The following new endemic species of the subgenus Chilalictus are described : Lasioglossum (Chilalictus) alticola n. sp., L. (C.) tchambae n. sp. and L. (C.) webbi n. sp. A new subspecies, Lasioglossum (Chilalictus) polygoni austrocaledonicum n. ssp. is described from New Caledonia and Australia. The Australian species L. (Chilalictus) lanarium (Smith 1853) and L. (C.) instabilis (Cockerell 1914) are recorded for the first time from New Caledonia. Lasioglossum (Parasphecodes) sulthicum (Smith 1853) is the first species of this Australian subgenus to be recorded from New Caledonia. The emergence of cleptoparasitism and speciation in this insular situation are discussed. The cleptoparasitism of this new subgenus Parachilalictus n. subg. can be demonstrated by examining a set of convergent morphological characters among groups of parasitic Halictids, such as a reduced pollen collecting brush on the hind legs and flattening of the keel of labrum. The strong resemblance of Parachilalictus n. subg. to endemic species of Chilalictus and its absence in Australia suggests recent and local speciation. The two new endemic species described in the subgenus Chilalictus, from which Parachilalictus n. subg. might have emerged, both have a mountain distribution. Within the L. polygoni species-complex, speciation is expressed through variation in the density and strength of punctuation. At low altitude and along the drier west coast, we find the typical subspecies polygoni. At altitude ranging from 5 to 1150m, there are clearly two other subspecies. The new subspecies austrocaledonica is found only in the southern part of the island, in an open "maquis" environment, while the subspecies delobeli Munzinger & Pauly 2003 has a wider distribution on the mountains of the east, and was mainly seen in forest tracks in the rainforest. The latter subspecies occurs also in Australia. © 2013 Société entomologique de France.


Read S.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Howlett B.G.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Donovan B.J.,Donovan Scientific Insect Research | Nelson W.R.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Van Toor R.F.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd
Journal of Applied Entomology | Year: 2014

Chelifers (Pseudoscorpions) are generalist predators of small prey such as mites. Their occasional presence in honeybee hives suggests potential to exploit them as part of a management programme against Varroa mites (Varroa destructor), a significant pest of honeybees. Two species of native New Zealand chelifers Nesochernes gracilis and Heterochernes novaezealandiae, shown to consume Varroa mites, were collected from commercial nucleus hives or in litter surrounding the hives. Methods for mass-rearing the chelifers were developed to provide specimens for research and introduction into beehives for biological control of Varroa. Cultures were fed aphids and fruit fly larvae in vented containers containing sand and bark. N. gracilis was maintained at 14°C, 18°C, and 22°C. At 18°C, 1423 nymphs were reared from 140 N. gracilis adults, with 84.8% of all nymphs produced at this temperature. H. novaezealandiae was maintained at 18°C and 22°C, with 5 nymphs raised from 12 adults at 18°C and none at the higher temperature. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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