Parasitoids of the painted apple moth <i>Teia anartoides</i> Walker (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) in Australia

TitleParasitoids of the painted apple moth Teia anartoides Walker (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) in Australia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGerard, P. J., Charles J. G., McNeill M. R., Hardwick S., Malipatil M. B., & Page F. D.
JournalAustralian Journal of Entomology
KeywordsBraconidae, Cotesia sp., Ichneumonidae, Meteorus pulchricornis, Tachinidae

Painted apple moth Teia anartoides Walker (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), a native to Australia, was discovered in Auckland, New Zealand in late 1999 and eradicated by 2006. It was recognised in 2002 that biological control would be the most effective long-term control strategy if eradication was unsuccessful, and a search was initiated for potential biocontrol agents in Australia. In 2003, autumn and spring surveys were undertaken in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia of the guild of parasitoid natural enemies of T. anartoides. Eggs, larvae and pupae were collected and held to rear out any parasitoids. In addition, localised searches were made in Queensland in late 2003–early 2004 and laboratory-reared juvenile stages of T. anartoides were released for recapture in both Victoria and Queensland. Acacia dealbata Link (Fabales: Fabaceae) was the main plant from which T. anartoides was recovered, followed by apple. Most T. anartoides samples were collected from Victoria and Tasmania. Eighteen species from 13 genera of egg, larval and pupal parasitoids were reared and included Diptera (Tachinidae) and Hymenoptera (Braconidae, Encyrtidae, Eulophidae and Ichneumonidae). Of the seven Hymenopteran genera recovered from the larval stage, the most common in Victoria and Tasmania was a previously unidentified larval parasitoid Cotesia Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) sp. Echthromorpha intricatoria (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) was the dominant pupal parasitoid. The survey showed that the parasitoid complex associated with T. anartoides is structurally very similar to that on other pest Lymantriidae in the northern hemisphere such as gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae). Meteorus pulchricornis (Wesmael) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) was recorded for the first time in Australia.