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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Dasineura mali (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), apple leafcurling midge

Agent introduced: Platygaster demades (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae)

Release details: Not intentionally released against D. mali but was for D. pyri. In 1925 15 females and 10 males were released into an orchard at Henderson, and 30 females and 9 males released into an insectary. Releases occurred in 1926 but are not documented, although 3 females and 1 male were released in Stoke, Nelson. Distributed to several growers in 1927.

Establishment: Recovered from Henderson and Stoke in 1927 and considered to be well established. Recoveries also made in Auckland from 1927 releases in 1928. Recorded in D. mali in Palmerston North in 1954

Impacts on target: Parasitism observed in 1954 in Palmerston North (27-66%) and Nelson in 1975. He and Wang (2011) - the parasitism rate in the field significantly increases as the season progresses from about 50% in the first generation to more than 85% in the fourth generation in New Zealand. He and Wang (2014) - the density-dependent parasitism in the lower host density range (50300 D. mali eggs per apple shoot) suggests that P. demades is highly efficient in controlling D. mali populations of the first, third and fourth generations which fall into the above host density range and when necessary, argumentation measures may be taken before the onset of the second generation.


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.

He XZ and Wang Q (2011). Phenological dynamics of Dasineura mali Kieffer (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) and its parasitoid Platygaster demades Walker (Hymenoptera: Platygasteridae) in apple orchards. Journal of Economic Entomology 104: 1640-1646

He XZ and Wang Q (2014). Demographic dynamics of Platygaster demades in response to host density. Biological Control 72: 46-53