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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

Agent introduced: Harmonia conformis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), large spotted ladybird, common spotted ladybird


1896, 1898, 1964, 1976

Import source:

Australia (NSW and Tasmania, at least)

Import notes:

Cameron et al. (1989) - a consignment of 200 H. conformis was sent to New Zealand in 1896 from New South Wales, Australia and in 1898 an additional 200 were sent. In 1964, a consignment of adults was sent from Australia for feeding tests with the aphid Brevicoryne brassicae and some adults from this consignment were released. Harmonia conformis appeared as a contaminant of coccinellids sent to New Zealand from Tasmania, Australia in 1976 and 40 adults were sent to Auckland for rearing and release and a population reared in quarantine was subsequently sent to Lincoln, Christchurch for rearing and release. Although the individuals imported in 1976 differed slightly from the H. conformis already established in Auckland they were considered to be conspecific.



Release details:

Cameron et al. (1989) - unknown numbers were released from the 1896 and 1898 importations [presumably in the Auckland Province, North Island, as they were reported to be present and probably established there by 1898]. Two hundred adults from the 1964 importation were released in Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island. From the accidental 1976 importation, at least 200 were released in Canterbury and “hundreds” in Auckland.


Cameron et al. (1989) - in 1898, H. conformis was reported to be present and probably established in the Auckland Province. In 1926 it was reported to be present throughout the country; this has not been borne out and if fact it was correctly reported in 1938 that it was established only in the Auckland Province, where it is now relatively common. There is no evidence it became established in Canterbury. Its distribution in New Zealand appears to be determined by climatic factors.

Impacts on target:

Cameron et al. (1989) - the impact of H. conformis on aphids has not been evaluated in New Zealand.

General comments:

Cameron et al. (1989) - of the large number of exotic aphids present in New Zealand, five important field and fruit crop species were initially considered as the targets for biocontrol in the second phase (from 1965) of introductions of beneficial insects, although it is recognised that many other species which attack host plants in New Zealand can be of sporadic or regional importance. Those five species are: Brevicoryne brassicae [cabbage aphid], Myzus persicae [green peach aphid], Rhopalosiphum padi [bird cherry-oat aphid], Sitobion miscanthi [Indian grain aphid] and Macrosiphum euphorbiae [potato aphid]. [Aphid pests that have been targeted by specific biocontrol agents in New Zealand are: Acyrthosiphon kondoi (bluegreen lucerne aphid), Acyrthosiphon pisum (pea aphid) Cavariella aegopodii (carrot-willow aphid), Eriosoma lanigerum (woolly apple aphid), Hyperomyzus lactucae (sowthistle aphid) Metopolophium dirhodum (rose-grain aphid), Myzus persicae (green peach aphid), Therioaphis trifolii (spotted alfalfa aphid), Tuberculatus annulatus (oak aphid) and Tuberolachnus salignus (giant willow aphid). See the introduction records for these target species for details.]


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.