This pest is being investigated in Dove Meyer Robinson Park, Parnell and the Auckland Domain.
The adult is an orange coloured beetle, although the colour does vary. They have around 26 black spots on their back and are 7-10mm in size.
The hadda beetle should not be confused with the common lady bird found throughout the country.
Causes feeding damage to foliage – the leaf surface is scraped away from the main leaf vein leaving irregular holes or strips. Heavy feeding damage give leaves a distinctive lace-like appearance. Both adults and larvae feed on the host plants unlike most other members of the same group who are generally predators.
The beetle has been found in Dove-Myer Robinson Park, Parnell, the Auckland Domain, Greenlane, Newmarket and Remuera.
The beetle can fly up to 50 metres. It can also be spread by the movement of plant material or hitch hiking on other structures.
Contractors are carrying out a controlled spray programme at Dove-Myer Park and the Auckland Domain. They are hand spraying individual host plants on which the beetle has been feeding with a commonly used insecticide.
A surveillance programme is also being planned to determine the extent of the infestation –meanwhile the areas being sprayed are easily identifiable by signage and will be cordoned off during spraying. While there are no human health concerns the public are encouraged not to enter these areas until the signage and cordons are removed.
If you suspect you have found this beetle call the MAF Biosecurity New Zealand free phone on 0800 80 99 66.
Page last updated: 10 March 2014