Call for Carronia vine seed – we need your help!

The survival of the Southern Pink Underwing Moth (Phyllodes imperialis subsp. smithersi) is not only dependent on high quality, well established rainforest, its caterpillar is solely dependent on one species of vine for its food – the Carronia vine (Carronia multisepalea). 

As part of the recovery plan for this endangered moth species, Natura Pacific has been working with Native Plants Queensland’s Dr Bonni Yee, retired honorary CSIRO fellow Dr Don Sands and Barung Landcare to propagate up to 10,000 young Carronia vines using seed collections along with cutting propagation techniques. 

Now the vine is fruiting, Barung Landcare is calling for the community to get involved in a region-wide seed collection initiative! 

How can you get involved? If you know you have Carronia vine on your property, now is the time to head out and check to see if the vines you have are fruiting. The fruit will be in clusters of small green berries (possibly hard to detect if the vine is up in the canopy), but when they are ripe they will turn a bright pink colour and drop ready for collection. 

If you see the vine fruiting, we invite you to let our team know, so when they ripen we can work with you to collect seed. Please don’t collect all the seed as the fruit is a food source for other animals so there is a procedure that needs to take place. 

To help you to identify Carronia vine (it can be a little tricky to begin with!), click here.

Immature Carronia vine seed on vine. Photo by Matt Bateman

Once we collect the seed, Barung Landcare will propagate the plants back in the nursery and then distribute them back out to more landholders in the community with the aim of increasing the range of habitat for the moth. 

Recovery programs like this need everyone on board and it’s the community that is going to make a big difference to the future survival of this species. 

For more information about the project visit our Rainforest Resilience page.

If you have Carronia vine on your property and see it in fruit, please contact Megan Lee or Cam Burton if you’d like to be part of this project.