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Biocontrol introduction

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

Agent introduced: Orgilus parcus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)



Import source:


Import notes:

Cameron et al. (1989) - between November 1969 and April 1970 there were eight shipments of O. parcus from the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control station in India to Nelson, New Zealand; most were directly released although a small number were retained at Nelson for laboratory culture. A limited number were bred and a few released there before the laboratory host population became infected with a granulosis virus and the rearing programme was terminated.



Release details:

Cameron et al. (1989) - approximate numbers released from the 1969-70 importations were 665 at Lincoln, Canterbury, South Island and 2,040 at Nelson, South Island.


Cameron et al. (1989) - sampling of the release sites in Nelson after the 1969-70 releases indicated that O. parcus had bred for at least one generation in that season, but a subsequent survey showed it had not established at those sites on P. operculella. However, several O. parcus adults were collected by sweep-netting red clover crops in Nelson in 1970-71; they were suspected to have developed on armyworm or cutworm caterpillars rather than P. operculella. Sporadic examination of potato tubers and foliage in the South Island at Oamaru, North Otago and Lincoln, Canterbury for P. opercullela parasitoids was undertaken between mid-1967 and late-1973; O. parcus had not been released in these regions and was not found.


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.