Target pest: Vespula vulgaris (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), common wasp
Agent introduced: Metoecus paradoxus (Coleoptera: Rhipiphoridae)
1980, 1981, 2017
1980, 1981 Switzerland, Germany, Austria; 2017 south-western UK
Cameron et al. (1989) - small numbers of adult, larval and pupal M. paradoxus were present in shipments of common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) combs imported from Switzerland, Germany and Austria in September and October 1980 and October 1981. (The primary aim of these shipments was the importation of the biocontrol agent Sphecophaga vesparum vesparum.) No eggs were produced from these individuals. The 1981 shipment also contained 110 M. paradoxus eggs. Some of these hatched and were transferred to comb of German wasp (Vespula germanica) but did not feed and develop.
Landcare Research (2017i, 2018l) - thirteen Vespula nests collected in southern UK in late-summer 2017 were imported into quarantine at Lincoln, Canterbury. Parasitoids present included approximately 40 adult M. paradoxus. The intention was to rear these for host range testing, but although the imported beetles laid eggs, none of these were viable.
Cameron et al. (1989) - not released.
Impacts on non-targets:
Impacts on non-targets: Brown (2020) - M. paradoxus is an obligate parasitoid that is specific to wasps in the subfamily Vespinae (family Vespidae). It is improbable that M. paradoxus could attack any species other than V. germanica and V. vulgaris in New Zealand. The intricate life history and biological characteristics of V. inanis preclude other social Hymenoptera such as honeybees, bumblebees and ants from serving as hosts. This conclusion is supported by literature reviews and numerous surveys conducted in Europe.
EPA (2017b) - 18 Jul 2017: application by Landcare Research to import into containment parasitoids of the genera Volucella (Diptera: Syrphidae), Leopoldius (Diptera: Conopidae) and Metoecus (Coleoptera: Ripiphoridae) to investigate their potential as biological control agents of invasive social wasps (Vespidae: subfamilies: Polistinae & Vespinae). EPA Application # APP203346, approved with controls 6 Sep 2017.
EPA (2021a) - 14 Sep 2020: application by Tasman District Council to import and release two parasitoids, Metoecus paradoxus and Volucella inanis as biological control agents for the invasive German and common wasps (Vespula germanica and V. vulgaris). EPA Application #APP203875, approved without controls 16 Feb 2021.
Brown B. (2020). Application to EPA (APP203875) to introduce two parasitoids, Volucella inanis and Metoecus paradoxus, as biological control agents for the invasive German and common wasps, Vespula germanica and V. vulgaris. Environmental Protection Authority website https://www.epa.govt.nz/assets/FileAPI/hsno-ar/APP203875/APP203875-Application.pdf
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.
EPA (2017b). EPA Application APP203346: to import into containment insects (Diptera: Syrphidae, Conopidae; Coleoptera: Ripiphoridae) to investigate their potential as biological control agents of invasive social wasps (Vespidae: subfamilies: Polistinae & Vespinae). Environmental Protection Agency website https://www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/hsno-application-register/view/APP203346
EPA (2021a). EPA application APP203875: to import and release 2 parasitoids, Metoecus paradoxus and Volucella inanis, as biological control agents for the invasive German and common wasps. Environmental Protection Authority website https://www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/hsno-application-register/view/APP203875
Landcare Research (2017i). Wasp biocontrol update 12. Wasp biocontrol update: 12, 2017 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/discover-our-research/biosecurity/invasive-invertebrates/vespula-wasps/wasp-biocontrol-updates/update-12/
Landcare Research (2018l). Wasp biocontrol update 13. Wasp biocontrol update: 13, 2018 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/discover-our-research/biosecurity/invasive-invertebrates/vespula-wasps/wasp-biocontrol-updates/update-13/