sustainability through science & innovation

Pasture advisers master their insect ID skills

16 Jan 2019

What is an abdominal proleg? How do beetle and moth lifecycles differ? How can you distinguish a redlegged earth mite from a blue oat mite?

These are just a few of many questions tackled by pasture advisers from Victoria and NSW at the ‘Pasture pest identification masterclass’ run by cesar in Parkville, 2018.

During the masterclass, we delivered talks on insect taxonomy and morphology, pest biology, feeding damaging, and beneficials, which set the scene for invaluable and insightful discussions.

With the help of a microscope, attendees also uncovered the identity of pasture pests, from the African black beetle to the blackheaded pasture cockchafer to true wireworms, as well as beneficial carabids, lacewings and ladybird beetles.

All attendees were equipped with a take home copy of I Spy - Insects of Southern Australian Broadacre Farming Systems Identification Manual and Education Resource and a smart phone macro lens, to continue learning in-field.

Feedback from master class attendees.


The masterclass is part of the Dairy Australia-funded project ‘Building Knowledge of Insects of Pastures in South East Australia’, led by Pasturewise in partnership with cesar, the University of Melbourne and AgResearch NZ.

The main aims of the project are to determine the distribution and abundance of pasture pests in major dairy regions, and the cost of pasture pest related damage to the dairy industry through expert elicitation sessions and economic analysis.

We are thrilled that will be repeating the masterclass on 7 June 2019. For more information contact Jessica Lye or submit and expression of interest.



Jessica Lye, cesar

0401 555 567