Benefits and Risks of Exotic Biological Control Agents


This group was founded at a meeting in Brussels in 2007 attended by some 35 researchers from 9 European countries and Russia.

Specific aims:

  • To assess the characteristics of exotic natural enemies which are considered to be successful biological control agents

  • To assess the characteristics of exotic natural enemies introduced into a country as biological control agents which subsequently become invasive alien species

  • To highlight research areas requiring attention and develop strategies for supporting priority research

  • Ongoing development of guidelines on assessing environmental benefits and risks of releasing exotic biological control agents to increase cogency of decision making on classical biological control initiatives


Biennial WG meetings:

  1. 2009: Engelberg, Switzerland
  2. 2011: Hluboká, Czech Republic
  3. 2015: Bornholm, Denmark
  4. 2018: Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
  5. 2023: Aveiro, Portugal


The results of the working group’s activities are published in bulletins:

BioControl - Official journal of IOBC

Unravelling the Ecology of an Invasive Ladybird, Harmonia axyridis: From Populations to Communities

Special issue of BioControl (2017): BioControl 62(3) Brown, P.M.J.; Nedved, O.; Lawson Handley, L.-J.; De Clercq, P.; Roy, H.E. (Eds.)

Invasive Alien Arthropod Predators and Parasitoids: An Ecological Approach

Special issue of BioControl (2012): Roy, H.; De Clercq, P.; Lawson Handley, L.-J.; Sloggett, J.J.; Poland, R.L.; Wajnberg, E. (Eds.)

From Biological Control to Invasion: the Ladybird Harmonia axyridis as a Model Species

Special issue of BioControl (2008), Dordrecht, Springer. Roy, Helen E.; Wajnberg, Eric (Eds.)


exotic natural enemies, invasive alien species

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