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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

Agent introduced: Coccinella undecimpunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), 11 spotted ladybird


1874 [but see Galbreath & Cameron (2015) entry in 'General comments' section]

Import source:


Release details:



Cameron et al. (1989) - very widely established.

Impacts on target:

Cameron et al. (1989) - occasionally decimates aphid populations but is rare in spring aphid populations. Its impact is compromised by parasitism by Dinocampus coccinellae (up to 85%) and infection of over wintering populations by Beauveria bassiana (up to 90% mortality in wet winters).

General comments:

Cameron et al. (1989) - of the large number of exotic aphids present in New Zealand, five important field and fruit crop species were initially considered as the targets for biocontrol in the second phase (from 1965) of introductions of beneficial insects, although it is recognised that many other species which attack host plants in New Zealand can be of sporadic or regional importance. Those five species are: Brevicoryne brassicae [cabbage aphid], Myzus persicae [green peach aphid], Rhopalosiphum padi [bird cherry-oat aphid], Sitobion miscanthi [Indian grain aphid] and Macrosiphum euphorbiae [potato aphid]. [Aphid pests that have been targeted by specific biocontrol agents in New Zealand are: Acyrthosiphon kondoi (bluegreen lucerne aphid), Acyrthosiphon pisum (pea aphid) Cavariella aegopodii (carrot-willow aphid), Eriosoma lanigerum (woolly apple aphid), Hyperomyzus lactucae (sowthistle aphid) Metopolophium dirhodum (rose-grain aphid), Myzus persicae (green peach aphid), Therioaphis trifolii (spotted alfalfa aphid), Tuberculatus annulatus (oak aphid) and Tuberolachnus salignus (giant willow aphid). See the introduction records for these target species for details.]

Galbreath & Cameron (2015) - although the introduction of C. undecimpunctata in 1874 is widely quoted as the first introduction of an insect into NZ for biocontrol, literature analysis reveals no evidence such an introduction was ever attempted. There is clear evidence this is a spurious record created by cumulative misreporting, and that this insect has therefore established from an accidental introduction.


Cameron PJ, Hill RL, Bain J, Thomas WP (1989). A Review of Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests and Weeds in New Zealand 1874-1987. Technical Communication No 10. CAB International Institute of Biological Control. DSIR Entomology Division. 424p.

Galbreath RA and Cameron PJ (2015). The introduction of the eleven-spotted ladybird Coccinella undecimpunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to New Zealand in 1874: a spurious record created by cumulative misreporting. New Zealand Entomologist 38 (1): 7-9