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In New Zealand


 Agrotis sp. & Mythimna separata (Walker)

Lepidoptera, Noctuidae



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Surveys in Pakistan for parasitoids of the noctuids attacking grain crops, Agrotis ipsilon (Hubn.) and A. segetum (Schiff.) revealed several active species.  Between 1969 and 1971, 2225 Turanogonia smirnovi Rhodain (Tachinidae), 100 Periscepsia carbonaria Panzer (Tachinidae), 1,634 Apanteles ruficrus Haliday (Braconidae), 1,250 Macrocentrus collaris Spinola (Braconidae), and 17 Ctenichneumon panzeri Wesmael (Ichneumonidae) were sent to New Zealand (Mohyuddin & Shah 1977).  Cultures of A. ruficrus and M. collaris were established and 40,000 adults of A. ruficrus and 32,000 of M. collaris were released during 1971-72 in different areas.  Apanteles ruficrus became established, giving excellent control of Mythimna separata.  Mohyuddin & Shah state that the benefits obtained from this introduction have been tremendous.  Besides savings of ca. US$500,00 on insecticides and their application in 1974-75, New Zealand instead of importing maize exported 60-80,000 tons and earned an additional several million dollars.


Apanteles ruficrus was actually already established in New Zealand, but the strain was ineffective in reducing noctuids.  The importation of the Pakistani strain of this parasitoid resulted in the startling biological control mentioned above.  It was believed that the original strain in New Zealand was heavily hyperparasitized, while the new imports from Pakistan was not.  This example of biological control further supports the need to search for specific strains of a particular natural enemy.



REFERENCES:          [Additional references may be found at:   MELVYL Library ]


Carl, K.  1962.  Graminaceous moth-borers in West Pakistan.  Tech. Bull. Commonw. Inst. Biol. Contr. 2:  29-76.


Cumber, R. A.  1972.  Report on biological control work carried out at the Entomology Division Station, D.S.I.R. during 1971-72.  Auckland.  10 p.


Mohyuddin, A. I. & S. Shah.  1977.  Biological control of Mythimna separata [Lep.: Noctuidae] in New Zealand and its bearing on biological control strategy.  Entomophaga 22:  331-33.


Simmonds, F. J.  1963.  Genetics and biological control.  Canad. Ent. 95:  561-67.