Target pest: Agrotis ipsilon (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), greasy cutworm
Agent introduced: Linnaemya comta (Diptera: Tachinidae) = Bonnetia comta
Allan & Hill (1984) - Linnaemya comta [as Bonnetia comta] was imported in 1981 from a culture in Ohio, USA. Three shipments consisting of a total of approximately 1,000 parasitised A. ipsilon larvae were received, and some 50% of these produced L. comta adults. The first two shipments were from a laboratory culture reared through an unknown number of generations. The third shipment largely comprised field material reared to the F1 generation in the laboratory.
Allan & Hill (1984), Cameron et al. (1989) - releases were made in the Auckland (Mt Albert, Kumeu, Pukekohe) and Gisborne (Gisborne and Tolaga Bay) maize growing regions of the North Island in 1981-82. Most of the individuals released (7,650) were mated females more than five days old, although releases of parasitised caterpillars (2,200) were also made at Gisborne and Tolaga Bay. At all release sites, unparasitised A. ipsilon larvae were released to ensure a host source for the parasites.
Allan & Hill (1984), Cameron et al. (1989) - a field assessment programme between February and December 1982 in all release areas failed to recover any L comta.
Allan DJ, Hill MG (1984). Rearing and release of Bonnetia comta (Diptera: Tachinidae), a parasite of Agrotis ipsilon (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). New Zealand Entomologist 8(1): 71-74 https://doi.org/10.1080/00779962.1984.9722471
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.