BioControl (2011) 56, 861-870

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Philippa J. Gerard, Derrick J. Wilson and Tina M. Eden (2011)
Field release, establishment and initial dispersal of Irish Microctonus aethiopoides in Sitona lepidus populations in northern New Zealand pastures
BioControl 56 (6), 861-870
Abstract: The clover root weevil Sitona lepidus Gyllenhal (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) became an economically important pasture pest in New Zealand shortly after it was discovered in the Waikato region in 1996. A classical biological programme was initiated and an Irish biotype of Microctonus aethiopoides Loan (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) was released at four sites in the North Island in late summer 2006. These sites in Waikato, Hawke's Bay and Manawatu (two sites) regions were monitored monthly and parasitoid establishment confirmed at all sites within four months. In the winter of 2007, parasitism exceeded 70%. A widespread North Island drought in summer 2008 had a severe impact on S. lepidus populations at the Waikato and the two Manawatu release sites, resulting in parasitism below detection levels in the following summer. However, populations recovered by autumn. Within three years at the Hawke's Bay site, M. aethiopoides appears to be suppressing S. lepidus populations and has dispersed naturally over 60 km.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Philippa J. Gerard

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
classical biocontrol/new introduction


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Sitona obsoletus Clover (Trifolium) New Zealand
Microctonus aethiopoides (parasitoid) Sitona obsoletus Clover (Trifolium) New Zealand