Biological Invasions

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1657–1669 | Cite as

Establishment patterns of non-native insects in New Zealand

  • Emma Edney-Browne
  • Eckehard G. Brockerhoff
  • Darren WardEmail author
Original Paper


Insects comprise the majority of non-native animal species established around the world. However, geographic biases in knowledge hamper an overall understanding of biological invasions globally. A dataset of accidentally introduced non-native insect species established in New Zealand was compiled from databases, entomological literature, and examination of specimens in the New Zealand Arthropod Collection. For each non-native species, the first recorded location and first recorded date of detection was obtained. Excluding intentionally introduced species, there are 1477 non-native insect species successfully established in New Zealand across 16 orders, 234 families and 1017 genera. Four orders (Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera and Diptera) contributed 77.5% of all established insect species. Herbivores represented the largest feeding guild (47.7%), comprised of polyphagous (48.3%) or oligophagous (39.7%) species. The majority of these species originated in the Australasian (36.7%) and Palearctic regions (24.8%). Regression trees, using a binary recursive partitioning approach, found the number of international tourist arrivals, exotic vegetation cover, and regional gross domestic product were the main factors explaining spatial patterns of recently established species. Gross domestic product best explained temporal patterns of establishment over the last century. Our findings demonstrate that broad-scale analyses of non-native species have important applications for border biosecurity by providing insight into the extent of invasions. In New Zealand, the current trajectory indicates fewer non-native species are establishing annually, suggesting biosecurity efforts are being effective at reducing rates of establishment.


Biological invasions Biosecurity Disturbance Globalisation Invasive species Spatial Temporal 



Thanks to Robert Hoare, Marie Claude Larivière, Richard Leschen, and Stephen Thorpe, for answering queries of species names, and to Martin Bader for advice on statistical analysis. We acknowledge the support from MBIE core backbone funding to Landcare Research within the ‘Characterising New Zealand’s Land Biota’ Portfolio, MBIE core funding (CO4X1104) to Scion, and the ‘Better Border Biosecurity’ collaboration (

Data accessibility

The list of species and associated data is publically available ( Edney-Browne E, Brockerhoff EG, Ward DF. First records of the establishment of exotic insects in New Zealand

Supplementary material

10530_2017_1652_MOESM1_ESM.docx (84 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 83 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute)Riccarton, ChristchurchNew Zealand
  3. 3.Landcare ResearchAucklandNew Zealand

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