Tagged: biological control

Today’s task – Year 7 Maths and Science

releasing leaf hoppers

Firstly, congratulations for participating in the biological control of bridal creeper using leaf-hoppers, the DPI project we completed last term. The leaf hoppers we bred in class were successfully released at Hawkesdale Apex Park during the last week of term 3. We hope many of them survived the cold and wet weather we had over the September school holidays!

Today we will be looking at two tasks on the computers – (1) continuing our Beetle Game (Maths 300) to learn more about probability and long-range frequencies and (2) entering our paper aeroplane data onto the Google docs. spreadsheet to compare our results with other students.

(1) Go to Maths 300 on the intranet and choose “Beetle Game”. Click on “Make a Beetle” and then play ten games by clickoing on “Auto” and then clicking on the space bar. What do your results suggest? If this was a carnival game, how would you organise the cost and prizes so that you can make some money? Then go to “Make many beetles” and choose how many people you think will play the game at a school fete or carnival. How do you think you should organise the prizes now?

(2) Go to the Google spreadsheet “Paper Aeroplane Flight Distance data” and enter your results from five trials. Calculate the mean, using a calculator and then check using the formula option in the spreadsheet. Compare your results with other students’ – how did your plane go? How can you improve your design to increase your flight distance?

(3) If you have completed the above tasks, write a blog post about one of the three activities – releasing leaf hoppers to control bridal creeper, the “Make a beetle” game or Paper Aeroplane project.

aeroplane prac1

Biological Control of Bridal creeper


Photo Source

Over the next two weeks we will be breeding these leaf hoppers (Zyginia sp.), which reproduce and feed on bridal creeper, one of the top twenty weeds of national significance. The Department of Primary Industries, Weed Warriors program, have provided us with a perspex and mesh cage, bridal creeper plants and a starting population of leaf hoppers. When we have allowed these to breed over a fortnight or so, we will release the population into Apex park, where there are bridal creeper plants growing as weeds. Biological control is about using the natural enemies of pest plants or animals to control their growth and reproduction. Biological control agents need to be carefully researched to ensure they will not cause further damage in the environment. They need to be host specific and not damage native plants in the area.