B3   >>   BCANZ home   ·   Search database   ·   Browse database

Biocontrol introduction

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

Agent introduced: Trichogramma evanescens (sens. lat.) (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)



Import source:

Poland via Bangalore India

Import notes:

Cameron et al. (1989) - four species of Trichogramma, including a total of 40,000 Trichogramma evanescens (sens. lat.) (imported as T. evanescens but potentially including T. brassicae [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. evanescens (sens. lat.) culture had originated from Poland. 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 and Galleria mellonella.



Release details:

Cameron et al. (1989) - a total of 86,000 T. evanescens (sens. lat.) were released at approximately 12 locations between Waipu (north of Auckland) and Pukekohe (south of Auckland) in the North Island between February 1974 and May 1975.


Cameron et al. (1989) - there have been no recoveries of T. evanescens (sens. lat.). 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. evanescens (sens. lat.).

Impacts on non-targets:

Cameron et al. (1993) - Trichogramma evanescens (sens. lat.) 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 this ‘species’ was imported as Trichogramma evanescens but qualified it as T. evanescens (sens. lat.) because a 1980 publication by Pintureau & Voegelé showed that in Europe it included a second species, T. maidis [subsequently synonymised with T. brassicae (Noyes 2019) (Universal Chalcidoidea Database - accessed 7 November 2022)].


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