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Biocontrol introduction

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

Agent introduced: Eriborus trochanteratus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)



Import source:


Import notes:

Cameron et al. (1989) – between November 1969 and April 1970 there were five shipments of Eriborus trochanteratus [probably as Diadegma ‘surendrai' - see taxonomic note in the 'General comments' section] 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 465 at Lincoln, Canterbury and Oamaru, North Otago, South Island (specific numbers at each site was not clear in the records) and 485 at Nelson, South Island.


Cameron et al. (1989) - sporadic examination of potato tubers and foliage at Oamaru, North Otago and Lincoln, Canterbury for P. opercullela parasitoids was undertaken between mid-1967 and late-1973; there are no records of E. trochanteratus being detected. The E. trochanteratus released at Nelson in 1969-70 were not known to have bred in that season.

General comments:

Taxonomic note (17 December 2022) - Cameron et al. (1989), describing the introduction of this taxon to New Zealand, use the name Eriborus trochanteratus, noting that it is synonymous with the MS name (manuscript name i.e. not formally described) Diadegma ‘surendrai’ used in a 1971 Rao et al. publication [not accessed]. The fact that Cameron et al. (1989) reference the MS name suggests this taxon was introduced under this name; this inference is supported by the entry in the Landcare Research Biological Control Voucher Collection (accessed 17 December 2022) for Diadegma surendrai as a biocontrol agent of Phthorimaea operculella; the voucher specimen, from India, and was lodged in the collection in 1970.


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.

Landcare Research (Accessed 17 December 2022). Biological Control Voucher Collection: Arthropod Targets. Landcare Research website https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/tools-and-resources/collections/new-zealand-arthropod-collection-nzac/databases-and-holdings/new-t2-landing-page/arthropod-targets/