Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 3, 2011
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Citation: Farrar, R.R., Martin, P.A., Blackburn, M.B. 2011. Activity of Bacillus thuringiensis against Pryeria sinica(Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae), an invasive pest of Euonymus. Journal of Entomological Science. 46:148-151. Interpretive Summary: The Euonymus leaf notcher is an invasive pest of ornamental Euonymus shrubs that has become established in Maryland and Virginia. This caterpillar is capable of completely defoliating Euonymus plants. Because it feeds on shrubs that are often planted around homes, anything used to control it must be safe for people, pets, and the environment. Insect control products made from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) fulfill these requirements. We found that Euonymus leaf notcher caterpillars can be killed by BT. They are as susceptible to BT as are gypsy moth caterpillars, which are commonly controlled with BT. Therefore, it should also be possible to control the Euonymus leaf notcher with BT. We expect this information to be used by extension personnel, pest control operators, and homeowners to control this pest while protecting people and the environment.
Technical Abstract: Pryeria sinica Moore (Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae), an invasive pest of Euonymus, is susceptible in the second instar to the Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner product Thuricide®, and to several strains isolated from other B. thuringiensis products. Third instars are also susceptible, while susceptibility declines in the fourth (last) instar. The susceptibility of second instar P. sinica to B. thuringiensis is comparable to that of second instar gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.), a pest commonly controlled with B. thuringiensis. P. sinica thus should also be controllable with B. thuringiensis.