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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Araujia hortorum (Gentianales: Apocynaceae) = Araujia sericifera, moth plant

Agent introduced: Freudeita cf. cupripennis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Imported:

2010, 2018

Import source:

McGrath et al. (2019) - 2010 importation from near Buenos Aires, Argentina; 2018 importation from Melilla, Uruguay.

Import notes:

Landcare Research (2014a) - still waiting for export permit to be granted by Argentina to import beetles for release.

Landcare Research (2015i) - still waiting for export permit.

Landcare Research (2017g) - still waiting for export permit.

McGrath et al. (2019) - beetles were imported in 2010 for host range testing. In 2011 EPA gave approval to release these beetles; the approval could not be exercised within the statutory 5‐year period and lapsed in 2016. Beetles were subsequently imported from Uruguay in 2018 for host range testing; pending EPA approval, any beetles released in New Zealand will be descendants of these beetles.

Released:

2019

Release details:

Landcare Research (2014a) - earliest that releases could be made will be spring 2015 as still waiting for export permit to be granted by Argentina.

Landcare Research (2015i) - still waiting for export permit.

Landcare Research (2017g) - still waiting for export permit.

McGrath et al. (2019) - the 2011 EPA approval for release expired in 2016. Beetles were subsequently imported from Uruguay in 2018 for host range testing; pending EPA approval, any beetles released in New Zealand will be descendants of these beetles.

Landcare Research (2019g) - it is anticipated the first releases will be made in spring this year.

Landcare Research (2020a) - releases of 150 adults at each of two sites: on 13 Dec 2019 at Matapihi, near Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, and on 18 Dec 2019 in the Awanui area near Sweetwater Lake in Northland. Further releases are planned for the 2019/2020 summer, before the beetles enter diapause.

Landcare Research (2020h) - four releases made in the year Sep 2019 - Aug 2020.

Landcare Research (2020j) - released in February this year (2020) in the Waikato region.

Landcare Research (2021e) - 10 releases made in the year Sep 2020 - Aug 2021.

Landcare Research (2022h) - three releases made in the year Sep 2021 - Aug 2022.

Establishment:

Landcare Research (2020g) - establishment success unknown [as of August 2020].

Landcare Research (2020j) - the moth plant beetle is performing well with recent reports of the recovery of adult beetles at the original release sites. This means the beetles successfully completed at least two generations in the field and survived their first winter.

Landcare Research (2022g) - it is believed F. cf. cupripennis has established in the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato, but it may still be at low densities due to a limited number of releases so far.

Landcare Research (2022k) - Freudeita cf. cupripennis has established in Northland and possibly in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato but it may still be at low densities due to a limited number of releases so far.

Impacts on non-targets:

McGrath et al. (2019) - Freudeita cf. cupripennis has not been observed or recorded attacking species other than moth plant in Argentina. New Zealand has only three native plant species (all in the genus Parsonia) in the same family (Apocynaceae) as moth plant, and these are in a different sub-family. Laboratory host range testing in 2010 (with beetles from near Buenos Aires, Argentina) and 2018 (with beetles from Melilla, Uruguay) suggested that tweedia (Oxypetalum caeruleum) may be a fundamental host for F. cf. cupripennis and may be a field host for the beetle in New Zealand. Tweedia, a minor ornamental plant in New Zealand, is the only plant in New Zealand in the same sub-tribe (Oxypetalinae) as moth plant. Other field hosts are unlikely and the risk to native Parsonia species is considered negligible.

General comments:

Gourlay et al. (2018) - the 2011 EPA approval could not be exercised within the statutory 5 year period and lapsed in 2016. Subsequent research shows that the beetle approved for release in 2011 was mistakenly identified at the time as Colaspis argentinensis and should be called Freudeita cf. cupripennis. In this case F. cf. cupripennis indicates that the population of beetles belongs to the genus Freudeita, and is believed to be F. cupripennis, but definitive identification requires additional confirmation.

EPA Applications:

EPA (2011a) - 19 Jan 2011: application by the Waikato Regional Council to import and release Colaspis argentinensis [subsequently determined to be Freudeita cf. cupripennis] for use as a biological control for the weed moth plant (Araujia hortorum). EPA Application # APP201039, approved without controls 19 Dec 2011. [This approval lapsed in 2016; see General Comments section.

EPA (2019b) - 17 Jan 2019: application by the Waikato Regional Council to import and release Freudeita cf. cupripennis as a biological control for moth plant (Araujia hortorum). EPA Application # APP203667, approved without controls 13 May 2019.

References

EPA (2011a). EPA application APP201039: to import and release the beetle Colaspis argentinensis as a biological control agent for the weed moth plant Araujia hortorum. Environmental Protection Authority website https://www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/hsno-application-register/view/APP201039

EPA (2019b). EPA application APP203667: to release the moth plant beetle, Freudeita cf. cupripennis, as a biological control agent for moth plant (Araujia hortorum). Environmental Protection Authority website https://www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/hsno-application-register/view/APP203667

Landcare Research (2014a). Promising pathogen for cruel climber What's new in biological control of weeds? 70: 4 http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/issue-70

Landcare Research (2015i). Who's who in biological control of weeds? Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 73: 10-11 http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/issue-73

Landcare Research (2017g). Who's who in biological control of weeds? Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 81: 10-11 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/issue-81

Landcare Research (2018e). A lucky break in Uruguay. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 84, May 2018 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/issue-84/a-lucky-break-in-uruguay

Landcare Research (2019g). Moth plant beetle misconception cleared up. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 89, August 2019 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/weed-biocontrol-issue-89/moth-plant-beetle-misconception-cleared-up

Landcare Research (2020a). Introducing the moth plant beetle, at last! Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 91, February 2020 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/issue-91/introducing-the-moth-plant-beetle,-at-last!

Landcare Research (2020g). Who's who in biological control of weeds? Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 93, Aug 2020. https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/weed-biocontrol/weed-biocontrol-articles/status-of-agents/

Landcare Research (2020h). Further reading and agents released table. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 93, Aug 2020. https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/weed-biocontrol/weed-biocontrol-articles/further-reading-and-agents-released-table/

Landcare Research (2020j). A seed-damaging fly for moth plant? Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 94, Nov 2020. https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/weed-biocontrol/weed-biocontrol-articles/a-seed-damaging-fly-for-moth-plant

Landcare Research (2021e). Further reading and agents released. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 97, August 2021 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/weed-biocontrol/weed-biocontrol-articles/further-reading

Landcare Research (2022g). Spring activities. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 101, August 2022 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/weed-biocontrol/weed-biocontrol-articles/spring-activities-3/

Landcare Research (2022h). Further reading and agents released 2021/22. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 101, August 2022 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/weed-biocontrol/weed-biocontrol-articles/further-reading-and-agents-released-202122/

Landcare Research (2022k). Summer activities. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 102, November 2022 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/weed-biocontrol/weed-biocontrol-articles/summer-activities-3/

McGrath Z, Paynter Q, Cartier A, Gourlay H, Hill R. (2019). The host range of Freudeita cf. cupripennis, a biological control agent for moth plant, Araujia hortorum. Landcare Research website https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/167696/host-range-of-Freudeita-cf-cupripennis.pdf