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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Agrotis ipsilon (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), greasy cutworm

Agent introduced: Trichogramma euproctidis (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) = Trichogramma evanescens euproctidis



Import source:

Germany via Bangalore India

Import notes:

Cameron et al. (1989) - four species of Trichogramma, including a total of 10,000 Trichogramma euproctidis (imported as T. evanescens [see taxonomic note in the ‘General comments’ section]), were imported in six shipments in 1974 from cultures held at the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control Indian Station in Bangalore, India. The T. euproctidis culture had originated from Germany. It was reared at Bangalore on Corcyra cephalonica. In New Zealand, frozen eggs of all four main target pests (Agrotis ipsilon, Chrysodeixis eriosoma, Helicoverpa armigera, Mythimna separata) were used to mass rear T. euproctidis for release. It was also shown to develop satisfactorily on Graphania mutans, Ctenoplusia albostriata, Galleria mellonella, Phthorimaea operculella and Graphania ustistriga.



Release details:

Cameron et al. (1989) - a total of 250,000 T. euproctidis were released at approximately 12 locations between Waipu (north of Auckland) and Pukekohe (south of Auckland) in the North Island in 1974, with the first release in February.


Cameron et al. (1989) - there have been no recoveries of T. euproctidis. Surveys carried out one month after releases ceased did not detect any parasitism by this parasitoid, and subsequent surveys (of H. armigera and Chrysodeixis eriosoma eggs over a wide area of Northland and Auckland in 1976 and intensive sampling of noctuid eggs in tomatoes in the Auckland area) have confirmed the failure to establish of T. euproctidis.

Impacts on non-targets:

Cameron et al. (1993) - Trichogramma euproctidis was released after being reared on a range of native and introduced noctuids considered as potential alternative hosts. This is an example of a biocontrol programme where acceptance of native species as hosts was considered to be advantageous to the potential establishment and success of the agent.

General comments:

Taxonomic note (7 November 2022) - Cameron et al. (1989) note that T. euproctidis was imported as T. evanescens. Noyes (2019) (Universal Chalcidoidea Database - accessed 7 November 2022) gives T. evanescens euproctidis, but not T. evanescens, as a synonym of T. euproctidis.


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.

Cameron PJ, Hill RL, Bain J, Thomas WP (1993). Analysis of importations for biological control of insect pests and weeds in New Zealand. Biocontrol Science and Technology 3(4): 387-404

Noyes JS (2019). Universal Chalcidoidea Database Natural History Museum. Last updated March 2019. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids