Target pest: Passiflora spp. (Violales: Passifloraceae), banana passionfruit
Agent introduced: Zapriothrica nr nudiseta (Diptera: Drosophilidae)
Import source: Ecuador, Venzuela, Colombia
Import notes: EPA (2002) - 25 Jul 2002: application by Landcare Research to import four insect species (Zapriothrica nr nudiseta, Pyrausta [subsequently Glyphodes] perelegans, Cyanotricha necyria, Dasiops caustonae) into containment for host specificity testing to determine their suitability as biological control agents for banana passionfruit (Passiflora spp.). EPA Application # NOC02002, approved with controls 24 Sep 2002. Approval runs from January 2003 to December 2012.
General comments: Landcare Research (2019e) - in New Zealand the term ‘banana passionfruit’ is used to refer to a group of vigorous vines that grow up to 10 m tall and originate from the high Andes of South America. The species of concern all have edible fruits and belong in the same sub-genus, Tacsonia. The three most problematic species, and the regions where they are most commonly found, are: Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (Wellington, Nelson and Marlborough), P. tripartita var. azuayensis (Wellington, Canterbury and Otago), and P. tarminiana (northern North Island). Less widespread species, but also of concern since they are spreading, include P. mixta (Auckland and Marlborough), P. pinnatistipula (Canterbury and Otago), P. x rosea (Banks Peninsula), and P. antioquiensis (Auckland and Marlborough).
EPA (2002). EPA application NOC02002: to import into containment four insect species (Zapriothrica nr nudiseta, Pyrausta perelegans, Cyanotricha necyria, Dasiops caustonae) for host specificity testing to determine their suitability as biological control agents for banana passionfruit (Passiflora spp.) in New Zealand. Environmental Protection Authority website https://www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/hsno-application-register/view/NOC02002
Landcare Research (2019e). Twists and turns for banana passionfruit. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 88, May 2019 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/weed-biocontrol-issue-88/twists-and-turns-for-banana-passionfruit