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Friday 2 December 2005
Biosecurity New Zealand today confirmed that a Painted apple moth trapped in
Takapuna on 9 November 2005 was most probably a hitchhiker that had
arrived from Australia after it had pupated, rather than from an established
New Zealand population.
Biosecurity New Zealand's eradication programmes manager, Ian Gear,
said the same forensic tests used to identify the origins of three Painted
apple moths caught separately at Otahuhu in May and August and at Cornwall Park
in October 2005 were used again to assist with the identification of this
The forensic stable isotope testing was done by the Dunedin company
Iso-trace New Zealand Limited.
"Since this moth was trapped, we have increased the numbers of traps
and are currently conducting extensive ground searches in Takapuna and Cornwall
Park in the areas immediately surrounding the traps to see if there is a
population of Painted apple moths there that may have been associated with
these two most recent catches. These searches have not yet found any evidence
of a population, nor have our traps caught any more moths," Ian Gear
"This latest catch is the fourth this winter. While the available
evidence gives us a high degree of confidence that these are recent immigrants,
rather than being associated with a residual west Auckland population, we are
maintaining a high degree of vigilance.
"Every month that passes gives us increasing confidence that our
eradication efforts in west Auckland have been successful, although we cannot
give an official all-clear until January 2006.
"Biosecurity New Zealand uses two identification techniques: one
involving DNA analysis and the other stable isotopes. The results of both tests
give us a high level of assurance that the painted apple moths we have tested
over recent months have come from a country other than New Zealand," Ian
For further information, please contact: Brett Sangster, Corporate Communications Director, Ph: 0-4- 498 9882
or 0-27-247 8777