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Technical annual report 2000-01



Technical annual report 2000-01


Dept. of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical annual report; Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical and annual report; Reports; PublicationNT; Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries

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Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295



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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries 220 Distribution of the larval host plant Tinospora smilacina in the Darwin area A brief survey of the Darwin area was carried out to record the distribution of the larval host plant Tinospora smilacina. Known sites recorded for T. smilicina were Darwin CBD, Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Holmes Jungle, Yarrawonga, corner of Howard Springs Road and Stuart Highway, along Stuart Highway from Amy Johnson Avenue to Palmerston and in the suburbs of Leanyer and Wulagi. PROJECT: Management and Control of Mastotermes in Northern Australia Project Officers: G.R. Young, M.J. Neal, and H. Wallace Location: Darwin, Gunn Point, Kowandi Radio Station - Dept of Defence, CPHRS, and selected growers properties on the Venn Blocks Katherine Objective: To develop effective environmentally sustainable control methods against Mastotermes darwiniensis that can be applied in horticultural crops by growers or other persons not experienced in termite biology. Studies of the biology of the species are being carried out in conjunction with development and testing of control methods so that their effectiveness can be fully assessed. Background: Mastotermes darwiniensis Froggatt (Isoptera: Mastotermitidae) is the most destructive species of termite in tropical Australia. In the NT this species accounts for substantial annual production losses in horticultural tree crops and is also responsible for losses in vegetable and agricultural crops. Mastotermes can cause major damage to buildings, wooden structures, electrical cables and a variety of other materials. The main chemical registered for use in horticulture against this pest is an organochlorine, mirex. Mirex is the active ingredient of the product Mirant. As organochlorines are being phased out, it is necessary that alternative pesticides be tested against Mastotermes. Method: A successful management strategy for the giant termite was developed from research and experimentation conducted during a joint project for the control of Mastotermes and reported previously (TAR 1996, 1997 and 1998). The method involves aggregating the termites in 20 litre drums and applying Mirant to cardboard in the drum. Termites chewing through the cardboard liner either ingest or have some of the gel adhering to their bodies (DPIF Agnote No. A26 Management of Giant Termites in Rural Blocks). Field testing of several promising insecticides to replace mirex commenced at CPHRS during 1999. Chemicals are tested using aggregation drums, the object being to aggregate Mastotermes in pine billets in drums before applying the pesticide. The drums have been placed on soil beside infested trees, over the cut stumps of dead trees, or attached to the trunks of infested trees. New pesticides are tested by placing a bait containing the toxicant on top of the infested billets or by removing the infested billets from the drums, placing several layers of cardboard coated with the new compound in the drum and then replacing the infested billets on top of the cardboard. The method is consistent with that currently used with Mirant. In addition, other methods of chemical application involving soil treatment around infested drums or trees have been extensively examined over the past twelve months. A wood consumption trial to look at the feeding behaviour of Mastotermes over an extended period of time was commenced at the beginning of March 2001. An area of native bush at Kowandi Radio Station on the Stuart Highway was used as the site for this trial. Information gained during this trial will be used to better understand Mastotermes biology and the effect of seasonal changes on their behaviour.