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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Phyllonorycter messaniella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) = Lithocolletis messaniella, oak leaf-miner

Agent introduced: Apanteles circumscriptus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) = Pholetesor circumscriptus

Imported: 1957

Import source: Italy

Released: 1957-58

Release details: Parasitoids (806 females and 5 males) initially released into field cages in Nelson and subsequently redistributed widely.

Establishment: Established quickly and is widespread

Impacts on target: Considered a successful example of classical biological control. Damage by Phyllonorycter messaniella, has been greatly reduced by Apanteles circumscriptus in conjunction with Achrysocharoides splendens


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.