46-10 - Palmer Gardens Vedalia Beetle seat

The brass plaque on this Victorian era style bench seat is in memory of the discovery of the ladybird Vedalia Beetle in the Gardens by German entomologist Albert Koebele in October 1888.

Mr Koebele was the world’s first “economic entomologist”. That is to say, he was the first person to successfully use insects to control pests. He travelled the world looking for insects that could be imported to other countries to control pests that were damaging crops.

His big breakthrough occurred in this Garden in 1888. The Australian ladybird “Vedalia Beetle” that he found here, was responsible for saving the citrus industry in California.

The beetles were exported from here back to the US and successfully controlled the “cottony cushion scale” insect that had been threatening to wipe out the entire citrus industry there.

Mr Koebele had other successes but none as dramatic as that one, which is internationally recognised as the starting point of modern biological control of insects.

The plaque and seat were sponsored by the Australian Entomological Society on the occasion of their annual general meeting in Adelaide in 1994, and unveiled by the then Lord Mayor Henry Ninio.

From here, keeping walking south-east, back towards the roadway. You will pass Magnolia trees on both sides of the path.

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