Comparison of New Zealand perennial clovers for resilience against common pasture pests


  • P.J. Gerard AgResearch, Ruakura Research Centre, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
  • C.M. Ferguson AgResearch, Invermay Agricultural Centre, Private Bag 50034 Mosgiel 9053, New Zealand
  • S. van Amsterdam AgResearch, Ruakura Research Centre, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand



white clover, red clover, strawberry clover, Sitona obsoletus, Sminthurus viridus, Deroceras reticulatum, Wiseana copularis


Clovers (Trifolium spp.) are vulnerable to a large number of invertebrate pests so pest resilience amongst 19 leading commercial or near release New Zealand-bred clover cultivars was compared. Laboratory feeding choice tests comparing foliage from the test clovers against Grasslands Kopu II as the standard confirmed that red clovers (T. pratense) were less preferred than white clovers (T. repens) by adult clover root weevil and clover flea. Grey field slug showed no preference between red and white clovers, with the white clover Grassland Prestige performing the best. Porina larvae had lowest weight gains on strawberry clover (T. fragiferum). Subsequent tests using neonate greenheaded leafroller larvae and an artificial diet made with freeze-dried foliage from cultivars in the most and least preferred subgroups indicated antifeedant compounds, rather than leaf morphology, are likely responsible for differences in feeding preferences between red and white clovers.




How to Cite

Gerard, P.J., C.M. Ferguson, and S. van Amsterdam. “Comparison of New Zealand Perennial Clovers for Resilience Against Common Pasture Pests”. New Zealand Plant Protection 70 (July 25, 2017): 241–249. Accessed December 10, 2023.




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