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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), cosmopolitan armyworm

Agent introduced: Apanteles ruficrus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) = Cotesia ruficrus (Haliday)

Imported: Naturally occurring 1970-71

Import source: Naturally occurring in New Zealand but a different strain was imported from Pakistan

Released: 1971-72

Release details: Approximately 4,000 mass-parasitised larvae and 40,000 adults were released from Huntly north in the North Island and near Nelson in the South Island.

Establishment: Established 1971

Impacts on target: Credited with reducing the economic impact of M. separata.

Impacts on non-targets: Consistently parasitises 5-10% of Agrotis ipsilon in early summer while parasitism of Chrysodeixis eriosoma varies, 40% has been recorded but generally lower levels prevail.

References

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.