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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Expanding Geographical Range of Cactoblastis Cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in North America

Authors
item Hight, Stephen
item Carpenter, James
item Bloem, Kenneth - APHIS-PPQ-CPHST-NBCI
item Bloem, Stephanie - APHIS-NBCI
item Pemberton, Robert
item Stiling, P - UNIV. SOUTH FLORIDA

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2002
Publication Date: September 1, 2002
Citation: Hight, S.D., Carpenter, J.E., Bloem, K., Bloem, S., Pemberton, R.W. Stiling, P. 2002. Expanding geographical range of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in North America. Florida Entomologist. 85(3):527-529.

Interpretive Summary: The unintentional arrival of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, in Florida raised concerns for the safety of native and rare prickly pear cactus (opuntia cactus) in the Florida Keys and the potential spread of the cactus moth to opuntia-rich areas of western/southwestern United States and Mexico. Observational surveys and virgin female-baited traps have identified the continued spread of the cactus moth along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. The moth is infesting native and ornamental cacti north to Charleston, SC and west to St. George Island, FL. A newly discovered population of endangered cactus, Opuntia corallicala, was surveyed in southern Florida and found free of moth infestation. These findings provide new information on the rate of spread of the cactus moth toward the southwestern United States and Mexico.

Technical Abstract: Observational surveys and virgin female-baited traps have identified the continued spread of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. The moth is infesting native and ornamental cacti north to Charleston, SC and west to St. George Island, FL. A newly discovered population of endangered Opuntia corallicala was surveyed in southern Florida and found free of moth infestation. These findings provide new information on the rate of spread of the cactus moth toward the southwestern United States and Mexico.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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