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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Cydia molesta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) = Grapholita molesta, oriental fruit moth

Agent introduced: Liotryphon caudatus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)


1906, 1942

Import source:

1906 Spain via California, 1942 Canada

Import notes:

Cameron et al. (1989) - Liotryphon caudatus (in codling moth cocoons) were obtained from the California State Board of Horticulture in 1906 and reared in the laboratory over the following two years. A further shipment of 200 L. caudatus larvae were received from Canada in May 1942 and reared in the laboratory for releases until at least 1944.



Release details:

Cameron et al. (1989) - releases were made at 6 orchards [locations not recorded] in 1906, and at 69 orchards throughout New Zealand in 1907. Unknown numbers (but most of the 402 males and 78 females available from the laboratory colony) were released in the summer of 1942/43; most were liberated in three abandoned orchards, presumably in Nelson. Further releases were made in 1944 [details unknown]. In addition, 40 adults were released at Appleby, Nelson, in 1971, from a rearing colony developed from a mated female collected in Hamilton in 1971.


Cameron et al. (1989) - until 1971, when a mated female was found in Hamilton (Waikato), L. caudatus was only known to occur in the Auckland Province. In 1975 a single L. caudatus-parasitised codling moth larva was found at Havelock North (Hawke's Bay). Therefore, the current known distribution is Auckland, Waikato and Hawke's Bay.

Cole & Walker (2011) - in 2010, 9.6% parasitism of codling moth (Cydia pomonella) by L. caudatus at a Hawke’s Bay orchard was recorded, and a 2011 survey found an average of 7% parasitism at five abandoned Hawke’s Bay orchards.

Sandanayaka et al. (2017), Charles et al. (2019) - commonly found in Hawke's Bay, Gisborne and Waikato, but not in Nelson or Central Otago, while monitoring for the codling moth (Cydia pomonella) biocontrol agent Mastrus ridens. The absence of L. caudatus from any Nelson or Central Otago site continues to indicate that it has not established in the South Island.

Impacts on target:

Cameron et al. (1989) - the only records of L. caudatus from C. molesta are of four wasps reared from larvae and prepupae artificially exposed on peach tree trunks.

Impacts on non-targets:

Cameron et al. (1989) - Liotryphon caudatus has been recorded from Stathmopoda spp. (Lepidoptera: Stathmopodidae).

Sandanayaka et al. (2016) - L. caudatus could potentially compete with Mastrus ridens (released in New Zealand as a biological control of codling moth (Cydia pomonella); L. caudatus was released against both C. pomonella and C. molesta) for resources because they oviposit and develop on the same life-stage of C.pomonella (cocooned larvae). Competition experiments in the laboratory showed L. caudatus out-competed M. ridens in an enclosed space, but that ability in a natural ecosystem remains to be investigated.


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.

Charles JG, Sandanayaka WRM, Walker JTS, Shaw PW, Chhagan A, Cole LM, Colhoun K, Davis VA, Wallis DR (2019). Establishment and seasonal activity in New Zealand of Mastrus ridens, a gregarious ectoparasitoid of codling moth Cydia pomonella. BioControl 64: 291–301 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-019-09939-z

Sandanayaka M, Charles J, Davis V, Chhagan A, Shaw P, Wallis R, Lo P, Cole L, Walker J, Colhoun K. (2017). Establishment of Mastrus ridens (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), an ectoparasitoid of codling moth, in New Zealand. Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods, Langkawi, Malaysia, September 11-15, 2017: 85-87 https://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/FullTextPDF/2017/20173267456.pdf