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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Acaena anserinifolia (Rosales: Rosaceae), piripiri

Agent introduced: Antholcus varinervis (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) = Ucona acaenae

Imported: 1928-40

Import source: Chile

Import notes: Easily reared in insectary.

Released: 1936-40

Release details: 30,000 were released.

Establishment: Cameron et al. (1989) - in some areas populations persisted for up to four years but eventually dwindled and does not appear to have survived. Not recorded since 1942. Paynter et al. (2016) - persisted for 4 years at Mackay’s Bluff, Nelson, until the site was destroyed by fire.


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.

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

Valentine EW (1970). A list of the phytophagous Hymenoptera in New Zealand New Zealand Entomologist: 4(4) 52-52