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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Ulex europaeus (Fabales: Fabaceae), gorse

Agent introduced: Aceria davidmansoni (Acariformes: Eriophyidae) = Aceria genistae

Import notes:

Harman et al. (1996) - accidental introduction. [Originally identified as Aceria genistae. What was considered a broom (Cytisus scoparius)-specific strain of A. genistae was deliberately imported in 2006 as a biocontrol of that weed (see Aceria genistae introduction entry); subsequently the gorse 'strain' of the mite has been redescribed as a new species, A. davidmansoni (see Gourlay (2010a) and Xue et al. (2015) entries in 'General comments' section).]


Harman et al. (1996) - first recorded in New Zealand in 1985.


Harman et al. (1996) - Aceria davidmansoni is widespread on gorse.

Impacts on target:

Harman et al. (1996) - Aceria davidmansoni has little apparent impact on growth of gorse.

General comments:

Gourlay (2010a) - Aceria genistae was introduced into New Zealand in 2006 as biocontrol agent against broom (Cytisus scoparius), subsequent to it being recorded in New Zealand on gorse. Recent research shows that A. genistae includes a number of distinct strains, each of which is specific to one species of plant. The mites being introduced against broom are specific to broom and are unlikely to interbreed with the resident strain on gorse. [See Xue et al. (2015) entry below for the redescription of the gorse mite as a new species.]

Xue et al. (2015) - the mite causing galls on gorse (Ulex europaeus) in New Zealand was previously considered to be a strain of Aceria genistae [see Gourlay (2010a) entry above], based on an identification by David Manson in 1989. This was a misidentification and the species on gorse is redescribed here as a new species, Aceria davidmansoni.


Gourlay H (2010a). Broom gall mite: Aceria genistae. The Biological Control of Weeds Book - Te Whakapau Taru: A New Zealand Guide (Landcare Research) [Updated 2022] https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/discover-our-research/biodiversity-biosecurity/weed-biocontrol/projects-agents/biocontrol-agents/broom-gall-mite/

Harman HM, Syrett P, Hill RL, Jessep CT. (1996). Arthropod introductions for biological control of weeds in New Zealand, 1929 - 1995. New Zealand Entomologist, 19(1): 71-80

Xue X-F, Han X, Zhang Z-Q (2015). Correct identification and biosecurity decision-making: Two species instead of one in Aceria genistae complex (Acari: Eriophyidae) in New Zealand. Systematic & Applied Acarology 20(1): 71-86 http://dx.doi.org/10.11158/saa.20.1.8