Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2010
Publication Date: 4/21/2011
Citation: Gilligan, T.M., Brown, J.W., Epstein, M.E., Passoa, S.C., Powell, J.A. 2011. Discovery of Lobesia botrana (Denis & Schiffermuller) in California: an invasive species new to North America (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 113(1):14-30. Interpretive Summary: The European grape berry moth is an economically important pest of vineyards throughout the southern portion of Europe and Asia. The caterpillars or larvae cause damage to grapes by feeding directly on fruit, although the most serious economic losses are caused by secondary infection of feeding sites by bunch rot or gray mold. The purpose of this paper is to report the recent discovery of this pest in grapes in the Napa Valley of California. Because more than 800,000 acres are cultivated for grapes throughout the state, this species could have a significant impact on California agriculture. This information will be of interest to those in the grape industry, pest managers, and action agencies such as APHIS.
Technical Abstract: The European grape berry moth, Lobesia botrana (Denis and Schiffermüller), is one of the most destructive pests of grapes in the Palearctic Region. Larvae feed on the fruit, causing direct damage and promoting secondary infection by Botrytis cinerea Persoon (botrytis bunch rot or gray mold). On 15 September 2009, tortricid larvae found in grapes in the Napa Valley of California were determined to be L. botrana, representing the first North American records of this species. The presence of this species could have a significant impact on California agriculture - wine, table, and raisin grapes are grown on more than 800,000 acres throughout the state. We provide descriptions and illustrations to aid in the identification of this newly arrived pest, along with a brief history of its discovery.