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Title: Confirmation of the Old World species Phricanthes flexilineana (Walker) in the New World tropics (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae: Phricanthini)

item Brown, John

Submitted to: Pan Pacific Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2007
Publication Date: 12/27/2007
Citation: Brown, J.W. 2007. Confirmation of the Old World species Phricanthes flexilineana (Walker) in the New World tropics (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae: Phricanthini). Pan Pacific Entomology. 83:352-357.

Interpretive Summary: Detection, exclusion, and control of invasive species are critical for the protection of American agriculture. While some invasives become conspicuous immediately after arrival, others may take years or even decades before their presence is documented. In this paper I provide the first collection records and two new host plants in the West Hemisphere of an Old World (Indo-Australian and Oriental) moth species that almost certainly was introduced into Guyana (South America) nearly a century ago with ornamental plants. This species is a member of the moth family known as leaf-rollers, which cause billions of dollars in damage annually to crops, forest trees, and ornamental plants. This information will be of value to scientists involved in host plant-insect interactions, biogeography, and control of invasive species, as well as action agencies such as APHIS whose charge is to detect foreign species at U.S. ports-of-entry.

Technical Abstract: The Old World species Phricanthes flexilinena (Walker) is reported from Costa Rica and Panama for the first time, confirming a nearly century-old report that the species occurs in the New World (i.e., Guyana). Two new larval host plants are reported for the species in Costa Rica: Tetracera volubilis L. and Davilla nitia (Valh) Kubitzki (both Dilleniaceae). Circumstantial evidence suggests that the species arrived via plant material for propagation as ornamentals, and that upon arrival in the Neotropics, potential hosts of the same family were available for colonization.