Central Australia hosts entomological conference

More than 120 professional entomologists from across Australia swarmed into Alice Springs from 23-26 September for the Australian Entomological Society 49th AGM and Scientific Conference.

The conference presentation topics were diverse and included insect behaviour, conservation, diagnostics, cultural and ecological significance of native species, physiology and adaptation biosecurity, and pest management and control.

There were a number of presentation given by staff from the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Division, including:

  • Mary Finlay-Doney – the buzz about stingless bees in the Northern Territory: ecology and pollination potential
  • Mary Finlay-Doney – improving our understanding of Australasian Epilachnini (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): taxonomy and distribution
  • Thilini Ekanayake - poster presentation on the effect of male body size, age and premating experence on mating success in the Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni)
  • Brian Thistleton – integrated pest management technology in Northern Territory vegetable crops and extending the technology through demonstration plots
  • Vicki Simlesa – the response to Asian Honey Bee incursions (Apis cerana) in the Northern Territory.

Executive Director Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Sarah Corcoran also delivered the keynote address on Wednesday 26 September, outlining the importance of plant biosecurity for the Territory.

For DPIR entomologists, the focus of much of their work is studying and identifying pest insects present in Australia that either present a biosecurity threat, or cause crop loss or a reduction in quality in the agricultural sector.

The Northern Territory Government was a proud sponsor of the event.

More information about plant diseases and pests in the Territory can be found on the Northern Territory Government website.

Mary Finlay-Doney gave a presentation on Australasian lady beetles
Mary Finlay-Doney gave a presentation on Australasian lady beetles