Target pest: Gonipterus platensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), gum tree weevil
Agent introduced: Anaphes nitens (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) = Anaphoidea nitens, Patasson nitens
Imported: 1927, 1929-30
Import source: Australia
Released: 1927-28, 1929-30
Release details: Cameron et al. (1989) - 1927-28 releases were made at Henderson, Mangaiti , Orini, Waitapu (Waiotapu?), Waipukurau, Bulls, Marton, Wellington, Blenheim, Motueka and Darfield. 1929-30 486 adults were released in Nelson and parasitised egg cases were sent to Takaka, Ashburton, Darfield and Waipukurau. It was redistributed to Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, Auckland and Nelson in 1930-31. South Island releases were possibly made in 1931-32. in 1935-36 releases were made at Hanmer Springs and Nelson.
Establishment: Cameron et al. (1989) - recorded from Auckland in 1930 and all important districts in the North Island, Nelson and possibly other southern areas by 1936. Now occurs throughout New Zealand
Impacts on target: Cameron et al. (1989) - considered an excellent example of biological control. Maintains host numbers at a low level.
General comments: Mapondera et al. (2012) - the gum tree weevil, generally referred to as Gonipterus scutellatus Gyllenhal, 1833 is a significant pest of Eucalyptus species in Africa, America, Europe, New Zealand and Western Australia. [It is recorded in Cameron et al. (1989) as G. scutellatus.] Recent taxonomic study has indicated G. scutellatus to comprise a complex of cryptic species, obscuring the identity of the various pest populations of the weevil in the world. The pest species in New Zealand, America and western Europe was found to be G. platensis.
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.
Mapondera TS, Burgess T, Matsuki M, Oberprieler RG. (2012). Identification and molecular phylogenetics of the cryptic species of the Gonipterus scutellatus complex (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Gonipterini). Australian Journal of Entomology 51, 175–188