Abstract The biology and host range of the cerambycid beetle Aerenicopsis championi Bates, a potential biological control agent for the weed Lantana camara L., were studied. A. championi is a univoltine species associated with L. camara, L. urticifolia, and L. hirsuta in Mexico and Central America. In Mexico, adult emergence occurred in May and June at the start of the rainy season. Larvae fed within the stems over a 9- to 12-month period and caused damage to the plant. The insect was imported into Australia, where a procedure for rearing it in the laboratory was developed. Host-range tests indicated that adults oviposited and larvae commenced development in L. camara and L. montevidensis but not in any of 57 other species tested. A CLIMEX model indicated that most areas infested with lantana in Australia would have a favorable climate for A. championi. Permission to release this insect in Australia was obtained and three small releases were made in southern Queensland in February 1995.