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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 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.