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Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: The cactus webworm, Loxomorpha flavidissimalis (Grote, 1878) (Pyraloidea, Crambidae): its distribution and a potential pest in Mexico

item Lara-villalon, M. - University Of Victoria
item Solis, M
item Sanchez-ramos, G. - University Of Victoria
item Mora-olivo, A. - University Of Victoria

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2015
Publication Date: 1/15/2016
Citation: Lara-Villalon, M., Solis, M.A., Sanchez-Ramos, G., Mora-Olivo, A. 2016. The cactus webworm, Loxomorpha flavidissimalis (Grote, 1878) (Pyraloidea, Crambidae): its distribution and a potential pest in Mexico. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 118:109-114. doi: 10.4289/0013-8797.118.1.109.

Interpretive Summary: Invasive species are responsible for losses in the billions of dollars and in a wide range of habitats. The cactus moth was detected in Florida as an invasive species in 1989, then migrated west, and became of great concern to the Mexican government where cactus is a food product. We report the presence of a new feeder on cactus, the cactus webworm, in northeastern Mexico. This species is distributed in Mexico and Texas in the United States. We provide an image of the webbing on the cactus pad and the adult moth. This information will be useful to both action agency identifiers and regulatory personnel in both Mexico and the United States.

Technical Abstract: We report Loxomorpha flavidissimalis, the cactus webworm, for the first time from Tamaulipas, Mexico, as an herbivore of the cultivated cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica. We observed larvae over a four year period (2010-2014) during the months of March to November and found young cladode losses attributable to L. flavidissimalis. The cactus webworm represents an additional potential pest for the production of cultivated cactus in Tamaulipas.