Jewel beetle breeding
Cats Claw Creeper is an aggressive, climbing vine that threatens many natural areas in the Gold Coast region.
There are a number of control options available, one of them being the leaf mining jewel beetle (Hylaeogena jureceki). The beetles spend their entire lives on the Cats claw plants. The adults munch away at the leaves before laying their eggs on a fresh leaf. Once the larvae hatch they mine within the leave until it drops off the plant. The beetles are inactive in the winter months but they come to life in summer and get busy! Their breeding cycles are extremely fast (30-45 days) and we hope to achieve several this breeding season.
Beetles bred to date – 2000
Our Breeding facility
14th October 2020
Breeding tents populated!
Today we released 1000 beetles into our 4 breeding tents and they are already busy munching away at the cats claw, damaging the plants and getting nice and healthy so they are ready to breed!
We expect these 1000 beetles to multiply into 10,000 beetles within 5-6 weeks!
20th October 2020
New larvae already!
Our beetles have been busy! Jewel beetle larvae is what does most damage to the cats claw. The larva mine the leave eating all the goodness before encasing themselves in a circular cavity where they will morph into a beetle within a week or two.
The damaged leaves simply drop off the plant, leaving it bare and vulnerable to full removal by regen workers.
11 December 2020
Cats Claw being annihilated!
The beetles have loved the high temperatures lately and have annihilated the cats claw plants in their breeding tents. We started with 200 or so in each tent and there are far more than that now.
Let’s see how many we are able to harvest at the next harvest!
17 December 2020
Its Harvest #1 day!
Today we completed the first harvest of our bug breeding season. Thank you to volunteer Emily who came in and helped us!
Unfortunately is was overcast and rainy which is not ideal for harvesting as the bugs hide away and evade our capture. However we still managed to harvest 3,470 beetles for Healthy Land and Water which will be released into the region to assist with their source protection work. The remaining beetles will be left to breed further over the Christmas period, ready for Harvest #2 in January!