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Biological control agents

Biological control is the use of natural enemies (called biological control agents) to reduce populations of pests such as insects and weeds. The biological control agents that we have approved are outlined below. Insect and fungal biological control agents have been approved for release in New Zealand.

Biological control agents approved for use in New Zealand
(listed alphabetically by target pest)

Last updated: December 2015


​Target Pest ​Agent ​Species Name
Boneseed ​moth ​Tortrix s.l. sp. "chrysanthemoides"
​Buddleia ​weevil ​Cleopus japonicus
Californian thistle
​weevil ​Ceratapion onopordi
​beetle Cassida rubiginosa
Chilean needle grass
​fungi ​Uromyces pencanus
Clover root weevil
​parasitoid wasp
Microctonus aethiopoides
Codling moth
​parasitoid wasp
​Mastrus ridens
Darwin's barberry
​weevil ​Anthonomus kuscheli
​weevil Berberidicola exaratus
Gum leaf skeletoniser
​parasitoid wasp ​Cotesia urabae
​gall fly
Macrolabis pilosellae

​hover fly
​Cheilosia urbana
​hover fly Cheilosia psilophthalma
Japanese honeysuckle
​butterfly ​Limenitis glorifica
​fungus ​Puccinia lantanae
​fungus ​Prospodium tuberculatum
Mealybug ​parasitoid wasp ​Acerophagus maculipennis
Mistflower ​gall fly
​Procecidochares alani
Moth plant
​beetle ​Colaspis argentinensis
​fungus Puccinia araujiae
​Privet ​lace bug
Leptophya hospita
​Ragwort ​moth Cochylis atricapitana
​moth ​Platyptilia isodactyla
Scotch broom
​moth ​Agonopterix assimilella
​beetle ​Gonioctena olivacea
​Thrips ​parasitoid wasp
​Thripobius semiluteus
Tradescantia ​beetle ​Neolema ogloblini
​beetle ​Neolema abbreviata
​beetle ​Lema basicostata
​fungus ​Kordyana sp.
Woolly nightshade ​lace bug
Gargaphia decoris

Biological control agents that have been declined release in New Zealand

An application to release Macrolophus pygmaeus as a biological control agent against greenhouse whitefly was declined in April 2014. 

What information do I need if I want to make an application?


The following publications (produced under the Better Border Biosecurity (B3) science programme) have extensive information about biological control agents, the research process and the type of information you will need to provide if you are making an application: