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Tuesday 11 October 2005
Biosecurity New Zealand today confirmed that a Painted apple moth trapped in
Otahuhu on 26 August 2005 was most probably a hitchhiker that had arrived from
Australia after it had pupated, rather than from an established New Zealand
Biosecurity New Zealand's eradication programmes manager, Ian Gear, said the
same forensic tests used to identify the origins of a Painted apple moth caught
at Otahuhu in May 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.
"Testing of this latest moth has been delayed by a prolonged series of events
associated with bringing a vital item of test equipment from Italy to Dunedin,"
Ian Gear said.
"But since this moth was trapped, we have conducted extensive ground searches
in the Otahuhu area to see if there was a population of Painted apple moths
there that may have been associated with this catch. These searches have not
found any evidence of a population, nor have our traps caught any more moths.
"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.
"We are greatly encouraged by the forensic analysis testing available through
Iso-trace and are working with that company to refine their procedures even
further to provide information about likely countries of origin for invasive
"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 two painted apple moths we have tested have
come from a country other than New Zealand," Ian Gear said.
For further information, please contact: Brett Sangster, Corporate
Communications Director, Ph: 0-4- 498 9882 or 0-27-247 8777