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Biocontrol introduction

Target pest: Phthorimaea operculella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), potato tuber moth

Agent introduced: Apanteles ?subandinus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)



Import source:

Northern Argentina and southern Brazil via USA

Import notes:

Cameron et al. (1989) - in July 1964, three shipments, each of approximately 50 A. ?subandinus in host larvae were imported from the Commonwealth Institute for Biological Control station at Fontana, California, USA to Nelson, New Zealand. The A. ?subandinus material had been originally sourced from northern Argentina and southern Brazil in 1963-64 and cultured at the Californian Station of CIBC prior to shipment to New Zealand. The first shipment arrived in good condition, the second two in poor condition. The fate of the imported individuals was not recorded.


1964? [see Cameron et al. (1989) entry in 'Release details' section]

Release details:

Cameron et al. (1989) - records do not indicate if releases were made.

General comments:

Taxonomic note (27 Nov 22) - Fernandez-Triana et al. (2020) note that under the name Apanteles subandinus there is likely a complex of species, some of them not even related. They report two different species under this name in the Canadian National Collection of Insects, both reared from P. operculella: one from California, USA that clearly belongs to Apanteles, and perhaps represents the true A. subandinus, the other from Venezuela that clearly belongs to the genus Dolichogenidea. Furthermore, they point out that in the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) there are two Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) with the same name Apanteles subandinus but which are far apart from each other: one BIN (that is close to Dolichogenidea and not Apanteles) contains the Venezuelan specimens (and others from Chile), the other BIN (close to Apanteles and not Dolichogenidea) with specimens from Colombia and New Zealand. Rousse & Gupta (2013) considered the species as belonging to the genus Glyptapanteles and thus transferred it to that genus; however, Fernandez-Triana et al. (2020) state that from the figures in the Rousse & Gupta (2013) paper it is evident that the single female specimen they saw is not Glyptapanteles and transferred the species back to Apanteles, concluding that without further work this is the best placement that it can be currently assigned to.


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.

Fernandez-Triana J, Shaw MR, Boudreault C, Beaudin M, Broad GR (2020). Annotated and illustrated world checklist of Microgastrinae parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera, Braconidae). ZooKeys 920: 1-1089 https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.920.39128

Rousse P, Gupta A (2013). Microgastrinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) of Reunion Island: a catalogue of the local species, including 18 new taxa and a key to species. Zootaxa 3616(6): 501-547 http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3616.6.1