23 September 2016
Last week, our Regional Landcare Facilitator, Karen Thomas, hosted three native vegetation insectarium workshops across the region. Over 70 landholders and industry representatives attended.
The groups heard about the results from Mary Retallack’s PhD research and learnt about three ‘hero’ native plants that attract a variety of beneficial predatory insects. These included Bursaria spinose, which provides a high nectar source for insects when prey is in low supply, Leptosoermum continentale, with its floristic arrangement opening over a number of days also providing a good nectar source for predatory insects, and Austrodanthonia sp, or wallaby grass, which is an excellent lower story plant that provides habitat for brown lace wings.
Amanda Garner from the Australian Native Food Industry Association discussed market demand for bush foods and Karen talked about incorporating flowering bush foods in an insectarium as an additional income source.
Linda Thomson then presented Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research showing that native vegetation adjacent to a production zone significantly increased the abundance and diversity of beneficial insects, which helped to manage harmful insects and reduce chemical use.
Karen also discussed the trial site that has been established at Fielderberry Farm, the native vegetation used and the planting design.
For further information on native vegetation insectariums, contact Karen Thomas on 03 8781 7945 or email@example.com.