Jewel beetle breeding
We breed the leaf mining jewel beetle (Hylaeogena jureceki) for release in South East Queensland since 2019. The leaf-mining jewel beetle (a native to Brazil and Argentina imported to Australia in 2002) is a small insect being released to help fight the spread of cat’s claw creeper. Adult jewel beetle chew holes in leaves and lay eggs on leaf margins. The emerging larvae mine within the leaves until this hatch. Their breeding cycles are extremely fast (30-45 days).
Beetles bred to date: 2000
photo by Mooloolah River Landcare
Cats Claw Creeper
Cat’s claw creeper (Dolichandra unguis-cati) is an exotic vine weed that threatens waterways and bushland areas. Cat’s claw creeper is native to tropical America and is an aggressive climber that was used as an ornamental in older-style Queensland gardens.
This vine has the ability to smother native vegetation to the point of complete canopy coverage resulting in the death of canopy and understory species. Many bushland areas in the City of Gold Coast have significant infestations of this weed.
The vine has a vigorous root and tuber system, which makes it difficult to control. Cat’s claw creeper is a vigorous pest in Queensland and has been declared a category 3 weed under the Biosecurity Act 2014. In 2012 cat’s claw creeper was also listed as a Weed of National Significance by the Commonwealth of Australia (Australian Weeds Committee 2012).