Eucalypts (Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora), as native stands and as plantations, dominate the two Mediterranean forest regions of Australia. These two geographically separated regions – south-western Australia, and areas of South Australia, including the Green Triangle region around the southern South Australian/Victorian border – have likewise largely separate native insect species, in spite of a common, albeit non-endemic, resource (E. globulus plantations). Almost half a million hectares of E. globulus and around 300,000 ha of softwoods is planted in Mediterranean Australia. Native defoliators have been largely unproblematic in pine plantations, but many have achieved significant pest status in hardwood plantations. Defoliators in native forest are less well-known, but there are several examples of species that have been studied in detail. Eucalypts typically receive (and tolerate) relatively high levels of defoliation, and have a diverse array of phytophagous insect fauna from several Orders (Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera and Orthoptera) feeding on their foliage, despite it being sclerophyllous and high in plant secondary compounds. Here, we provide an overview of the endemic folivores of Mediterranean forests in Australia.
Insects and Diseases of Mediterranean Forest Systems / Timothy D Paine, Francois, Lieutier (eds): pp.431-454