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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Hypericum androsaemum (Malpighiales: Hypericaceae), tutsan

Agent introduced: Lathronympha strigana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), tutsan moth



Import source:

Georgia, Europe

Import notes:

Landcare Research (2015h) - has been in containment at Lincoln since 2014 for evaluation.



Release details:

Landcare Research (2016i) - first field release planned for spring 2016.

Landcare Research (2017b) - first release February 2017 at Taumarunui (King Country, central North Island), and subsequently released at 30 sites in the central North Island in summer and autumn 2017.

Landcare Research (2019j) - 2 releases made in the year Sep 2018 - Aug 2019.


Landcare Research (2019h, 2021f, 2022g, 2023e) - it is not known if this moth has established.

Impacts on non-targets:

Hill (2015b) - tutsan belongs to the family Hypericaceae. Hypericum is the only genus of this family present in New Zealand; there are four native species. In host plant tests carried out by Landcare Research, L. strigana eggs were only laid on Hypericum species. Tutsan was strongly preferred; a few eggs were laid on the three native species tested but larvae could not complete development on these. The risk of self-sustaining populations developing on native Hypericum species is considered negligible. Larvae completed development on the three non-native Hypericum species tested: tutsan (58% of larvae), H. perforatum (the weed St John's wort) (36%) and H. calycinum (10%). Impacts on valued non-native Hypericum species are likely to be low as these species are not widely grown as ornamentals and populations capable of causing noticeable damage on these species are unlikely.

EPA Applications:

EPA (2016a) - 20 Nov 2015: application by the Tutsan Action Group to import and release the moth, Lathronympha strigana, and the beetle, Chrysolina abchasica, as biocontrol agents for the weed tutsan, Hypericum androsaemum. EPA Application APP202663, approved without controls 18 May 2016.


EPA (2016a). EPA application APP202663: to introduce the moth Lathronympha strigana and the leaf beetle Chrysolina abchasica as biological control agents for the weed tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum). Environmental Protection Authority website https://www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/hsno-application-register/view/APP202663

Hill R. (2015b). EPA application [APP202663] to obtain approval to release new organisms [Chrysolina abchasica and Lathronympha strigana]. Environmental Protection Authority website https://www.epa.govt.nz/assets/FileAPI/hsno-ar/APP202663/dec2058e97/APP202663-APP202663-Application-FINAL-2015-11-20.pdf

Landcare Research (2015h). Tutsan agents imminent Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 74: 5 http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/issue-74

Landcare Research (2016i). Who's who in biological control of weeds? Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 77: 10-11 http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/issue-77

Landcare Research (2017b). Tutsan agents released. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 80: 3 http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/141133/Issue-80.pdf

Landcare Research (2019h). Spring activities. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 89, August 2019 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/weed-biocontrol-issue-89/spring-activities

Landcare Research (2019j). Biocontrol agents released in 2018/19. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 89, August 2019 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/weed-biocontrol-issue-89/biocontrol-agents-released-in-201819

Landcare Research (2021f). Who's who in biological control of weeds? Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 97, August 2021 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/weed-biocontrol/weed-biocontrol-articles/whos-who-in-biological-control-of-weeds

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 (2023e). Spring activities. Weed Biocontrol: What's New? 105, August 2023. https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/weed-biocontrol/weed-biocontrol-articles/spring-activities-4