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New Zealand Plant Protection 65 (2012): 292

Initial establishment and further releases of Cotesia urabae, a biological control agent for Uraba lugens, in New Zealand

B.A. Gresham, G. Avila, L.A. Berndt and T.M. Withers

ABSTRACT

Cotesia urabae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a solitary larval endoparasitoid of the eucalypt pest Uraba lugens (Lepidoptera: Nolidae), was approved for use as a biological control agent in New Zealand in July 2010 and initial releases were made at two sites in central and south Auckland between January and June 2011. Initial establishment of C. urabae has now been confirmed at the central Auckland Domain site as parasitoid cocoons were found in February 2012 in the original release tree, as well as in several trees nearby where releases had not occurred for the previous 8 months. Two further releases of C. urabae were made in January 2012, the first in a Eucalyptus bosistoana plantation in Morningside, near Port Whangarei, Northland, and the second onto a large Eucalyptus cinerea tree located in Matapihi, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty. At both of these sites, host U. lugens larvae that had been attacked by C. urabae females were released, rather than adult parasitoids. This method provided additional flexibility around timing of release, and improved ease of transportation and handling.

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