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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Cirsium arvense (Asterales: Asteraceae), Californian thistle

Agent introduced: Altica carduorum (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), Californian thistle leaf beetle

Imported: 1977, 1990

Import source: CIBC Trinidad, 1977; Switzerland, 1990

Released: 1979, 1990's

Release details: Cameron et al. (1989) - released into a field cage at Lincoln in 1979. Hayes (2007a) - released widely in the 1990's.

Establishment: Cameron et al. (1989), Hayes (2007a) - failed to establish from 1979 or 1990s releases. Initially appeared to do well at a number of sites but appears not to have established. Paynter et al. (2016) - recovered from two sites 1 year after being released, and it was present at Little River, in Canterbury, in 1997, 2 years after it was released there; however, it has never been recovered since.


Cameron PJ, Hill RL, Bain J and 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.

Hayes L (2007a). Status of weed biocontrol agents in Southland. A report prepared for Environment Southland Sept 2007. Landcare Research Contract Report: LC0708/022

Landcare Research (2007). New Zealand Arthropod Collection (NZAC) Biological Control Voucher Collection. http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/collections/nzac/holdings/biological-control-voucher-collection

Paynter QE, Fowler SV, Gourlay AH, Peterson PG, Smith LA and Winks CJ. (2016). The influence of agent rearing success and release size on weed biocontrol programs in New Zealand. Biological Control 101: 87-93