Category Archives: Lepidoptera

Tuta absoluta (Meyrick): Tomato Leafminer

tomato-leafminer-5431766-photo-by-Marja-van-der-Straten-bugwood
California Pest Rating for
Tuta absoluta (Meyrick): Tomato Leafminer
Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae
Pest Rating:  A

 


PEST RATING PROFILE
Initiating Event:

A pest rating proposal is required to determine a permanent pest rating for Tuta absoluta (tomato leafminer).

History & Status:

BackgroundTuta absoluta is a moth that feeds on the leaves and fruit of solanaceous plants.  Known hosts include: Solanaceae: Capsicum annuum (pepper), Datura ferox (long spined thorn apple), Datura stramonium (Jimson weed), Lycium chilense (coralillo), Lycopersicum puberulum, Nicotiana glauca (tree tobacco), Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco), Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean), Physalis angulata (gooseberry), Physalis peruviana (cape gooseberry), Solanum americanum (American black nightshade), Solanum bonariense, Solanum elaeagnifolium (silverleaf nightshade), Solanum gracilius, Solanum hirtum, Solanum lycopersicum (tomato), Solanum muricatum (sweet cucumber), Solanum nigrum (black nightshade), Solanum melongena (eggplant), Solanum pseudo-capsicum (Jerusalem cherry), Solanum sisymbriifolium (sticky nightshade), Solanum tuberosum (potato)1.  Eggs are laid on all above ground parts of host plants1.  Young larvae mine leaves, stems, shoots, flowers, and developing fruit1.  Later instars may feed on mature fruit1.  Pupae can be found attached to all plant parts (leaves, stems, flowers, fruit) as well as in soil1Tuta absoluta can be transported long distances when infested plants, fruit, or reusable packing boxes are moved1.  Significant quantities of fresh host material from infested areas enters California by air through Los Angeles each year.  In 2008 570 tons of fresh tomatoes were flown into Los Angeles from the Netherlands as were 14 tons from Spain and 6 tons from Chile1.

Worldwide Distribution: Tuta absoluta is native to South America1.  Since 2008 it has invaded much of Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East1.

Official Control: Tuta absoluta is also listed as a harmful organism by Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Georgia and the Russian Federation3.  It is also under official control in Mexico4.

California Distribution:  Tuta absoluta has never been found in California.

California Interceptions:  Tuta absoluta has never been intercepted by CDFA.

The risk Tuta absoluta (tomato leafminer) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Tuta absoluta is likely to establish throughout southern California, the central coast, and the San Joaquin valley. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Tuta absoluta is known to feed on 22 species of plants in one plant family.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Tuta absoluta has high reproductive potential.  It can complete 7-12 generations per year with each female laying up to 260 eggs1.  The moth can rapidly spread long distances when infested plants, fruit, or packing containers are moved.  It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Tuta absoluta reduces tomato yields by up to 100% and is considered one of the worst pests of processing tomatoes in Brazil1.  This moth has the potential to lower crop yields and increase production costs in California.  If Tuta absoluta were to establish in California it is also likely to disrupt markets for California fresh fruit and plants.  Tuta absoluta receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A.  The pest could lower crop yield.

B.  The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C.  The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D.  The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E.  The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F.  The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G.  The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: If Tuta absoluta were to establish in California it is likely to trigger new treatment programs by growers and residents who find infested plants unacceptable.  Tomatoes are one of the most popular plants in home/urban gardens and are likely to be significantly affected by this pest.  Tuta absoluta receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A.  The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B.  The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C.  The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D.  The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E.  The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Tuta absoluta (Tomato Leafminer):  High (14)

Add up the total score and include it here

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Tuta absoluta has never been found in California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (14)

Uncertainty:

A closely related Gelechiid species, Keiferia lycopersicella (the tomato pinworm) occupies the ecological niche of the tomato leafminer in the United States1,2.  It is possible that existing treatments for tomato pinworm will preclude economic and ecological impacts of Tuta absoluta.  Alternatively, it is possible that if Tuta absoluta were to establish in California it could displace our native moth, causing unknown ecological effects.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Tuta absoluta meets the threshold to likely cause unacceptable consequences of introduction and it has an overall likelihood of introduction risk rating above negligible.  The moth is likely to have significant economic and environmental impacts if it were to establish in California.  An “A” rating is justified.

References:

1 Bloem, Stephanie and Esther Spaltenstein. 2011. New Pest Response Guidelines: Tomato Leafminer (Tuta absoluta).  United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/emergency/downloads/Tuta-absoluta.pdf

2 Poe, S.L. 1999. Common name: tomato pinworm. Scientific name: Keiferia lycopersicella (Walshingham) (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae).  University of Florida Featured Creatures.  http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/tomato/tomato_pinworm.htm

3 USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD).  https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/

4 Dr. Julio Cesar Velázquez González. 2013. Operating instructions to implement the emergency device against Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelichiidae) in Mexico.  Department of Plant Health Senasica.  https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://senasica.gob.mx/includes/asp/download.asp%3FIdDocumento%3D25489%26IdUrl%3D60944%26down%3Dtrue&prev=search


Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period: CLOSED

The 45-day comment period opened on Aug 4, 2016 and closed on Sep 18, 2016.


Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment

Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence, including threats.

♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Pest Rating:  A


Posted by ls

Spodoptera eridania (Stoll): Southern Armyworm

southern-armyworm-1263059-photo-by-Central-Science-Laboratory-bugwood
California Pest Rating for
Spodoptera eridania (Stoll): Southern Armyworm
Lepidoptera: Noctuidae
Pest Rating: A

 


PEST RATING PROFILE
Initiating Event:

Researchers recently applied for a USDA permit to import 60,000 eggs and larvae of Spodoptera eridania into California for field research.  Florida reports that this moth is already found in California and of no consequence here1.  A pest rating proposal is required to support the current pest rating.

History & Status:

BackgroundSpodoptera eridania is a polyphagous noctuid moth that feeds on the foliage, fruit, and flowers of a variety of plants1,2.  Adults and larvae are nocturnal.  Young larvae typically feed in groups on the undersides of leaves.  They often skeletonize leaves and can occasionally defoliate entire plants1,2.  As they mature they become solitary and readily bore into fruit1.  If food is scarce they will consume branches, stem tissue, and tubers near the surface of the soil1.  Agricultural crops that are damaged by the moth include avocado, beet, cabbage, carrot, citrus, collard, cowpea, eggplant, okra, peanut, pepper, potato, sunflower, sweet potato, tobacco, velvet bean, watermelon, and many ornamentals1.  The caterpillars also feed on many weeds but show a preference for pigweed (Amaranthus spp.) and pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)1.  Populations of the caterpillars sometimes build up in weedy areas then migrate to adjacent crops after favored weeds are consumed1.  The moth typically pupates in soil.  Spodoptera eridania is commonly intercepted in Europe on plants and tomato fruit2.  The moth is also a popular organism for research because it is easy to rear2 and has the potential to be spread long distances by researchers.

Worldwide Distribution: Spodoptera eridania is native to North, Central, and South America including the eastern United States as far north as Massachusets and as west as Texas1,2.  The only place it is known to have invaded is the Galapagos Islands2.

Official Control: Spodoptera eridania is listed as a harmful organism by Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See (Vatican City State), Honduras, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom3.  The moth is listed as an A1 quarantine pest by the EPPO2.  In addition, all species of Spodoptera are listed as harmful organisms by Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Japan, and Panama3.

California Distribution Spodoptera eridania has never been found in the environment of California.

California Interceptions Spodoptera eridania has only been intercepted four times by CDFA on bell peppers, cilantro, tree fern, and Asparagus sperengeri from Florida.  There have been 859 interceptions identified as Spodoptera sp.  Some of these interceptions could also be Spodoptera eridania.

The risk Spodoptera eridania (southern armyworm) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Spodoptera eridania is widespread across regions with a wide variety of climates. Southern armyworm would be likely to establish a widespread distribution in California and receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Spodoptera eridania is a generalist feeder on a wide variety of plants and receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Spodoptera eridania can complete a generation every 30-40 days under favorable conditions and each female lays a large number of eggs.  Adult moths may disperse locally by flying and caterpillars may crawl in large numbers to areas with better host plants.  Southern armyworm may also be transported long distances on infested plants or fresh plant parts or by scientists.  It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Although it is usually only a minor pest, southern armyworm does sometimes have damaging infestations to crops, especially tomatoes2.  Southern armyworm caterpillars may disfigure nursery stock with feeding damage and pupate in the associated soil, reducing the value of nursery stock.  Infestations do sometimes trigger treatments, which increase crop production costs.  Spodoptera eridania is listed as a harmful organism and quarantine pest by many nations and has the potential to disrupt markets for California’s fresh fruit and nursery stock.  Southern armyworm receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A.  The pest could lower crop yield.

B.  The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C.  The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D.  The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E.  The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F.  The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G.  The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Spodoptera eridania is not expected to lower biodiversity, disrupt natural communities, or change ecosystem processes.  It is not expected to affect threatened or endangered species or disrupt critical habitats.  It may trigger new treatment programs in agriculture and by residents.  It may also significantly affect many plants that are popular in home/urban gardens and ornamentals.  Southern armyworm receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A.  The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B.  The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C.  The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D.  The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E.  The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Spodoptera eridania (Southern Armyworm): High (15)

Add up the total score and include it here.

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Spodoptera eridania has never been found in California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (15)

Uncertainty:

Unidentified life stages of Spodoptera are frequently intercepted by CDFA.  Presumably they go undetected at other times and enter the state.  There have not been any recent formal surveys for Spodoptera eridania in California and it could be established in some localities.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Spodoptera eridania has not been found in California and it is likely to have significant economic and environmental impacts if it were to establish in the state.  An “A” rating is justified.

References:

1 Capinera, John L. 2014. University of Florida Featured Creatures. Common name: southern armyworm. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/southern_armyworm.htm

2 EPPO Data Sheets on Quarantine Pests: Spodoptera eridania. http://www.eppo.int/QUARANTINE/insects/Spodoptera_eridania/PRODER_ds.pdf

3 USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD).  https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/


Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period:  CLOSED

The 45-day comment period opened on Aug 4, 2016 and closed on Sep 18, 2016.


Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment

Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence, including threats.

♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Pest Rating: A


Posted by ls

Malacosoma americanum (Fabricius): Eastern Tent Caterpillar

California Pest Rating for
Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry , Bugwood.org
Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Forestry , Bugwood.org
Malacosoma americanum (Fabricius): Eastern Tent Caterpillar
Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae
Pest Rating: A

 


PEST RATING PROFILE
Initiating Event:

Malacosoma americanum is frequently intercepted by CDFA.  A pest rating proposal is required to support its pest rating.

History & Status:

BackgroundMalacosoma americanum is a foliage-feeding moth.  The moth overwinters in egg masses of 150-424 eggs on tree branches1,2.  Egg hatch coincides with bud break.  The caterpillars from each egg mass stick together and spin a silky tent in a crotch of the tree1.  During evening, night, and early morning hours the caterpillars emerge from the tent to eat leaves1.  They feed for 4-6 weeks then move individually to protected places to pupate1.  Moths emerge about 3 weeks later to mate and lay eggs1.  There is only one generation per year1.  Preferred hosts include: Rosaceae: cherry, peach, and plum (Prunus spp.2), apple and crabapple (Malus spp.2), hawthorns (Crataegus spp.2), and sometimes pear (Pyrus spp.2).  In addition to the preferred hosts the caterpillars will also feed on a wide variety of hardwoods2.  A similar moth Malacosoma californium (western tent caterpillar) is native to and widespread in California; however, its host preferences are aspens, willows, cotton, and mountain mahogany4.  Eastern tent caterpillar poses a distinct threat to California’s specialty crops.  It may be transported into the state as a contaminating pest (cocoons or larvae) on a wide variety of objects or as egg masses on potted trees or fresh tree branches.

Worldwide Distribution: Malacosoma americanum is native to the eastern United States and Canada1.  It is not known to have invaded any other nations.

Official Control: Malacosoma americanum is listed as a harmful organism by Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, the Russian Federation, Taiwan, and Turkey3.

California DistributionMalacosoma americanum has never been found in the environment of California.

California Interceptions:  Between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2014 Malacosoma americanum was intercepted 108 times by CDFA’s border stations.  Interceptions typically occur on outdoor items and goods associated with household moves.

The risk Malacosoma americanum (eastern tent caterpillar) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

 1) Climate/Host Interaction: Malacosoma americanum is native to a wide variety of climates in eastern North America and its host plants are widely grown in California. Eastern tent caterpillar can be expected to establish a widespread distribution in this state and receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Preferred hosts of Malacosoma americanum are limited to seven varieties of plants in one family.  However, it can also feed on other hardwood trees.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Malacosoma americanum has only one generation per year and each female lays an average of 293 eggs2.  Adult moths may fly short distances and caterpillars can crawl between trees.  The moths may also be transported long distances as a contaminating pest or when infested plants or plant parts are moved.  Eastern tent caterpillar receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Eastern tent caterpillar is not expected to lower crop yields.  In their native range the moths often defoliate entire trees.  They may increase crop production costs in California as orchards and nurseries treat to mitigate damage.  Malacosoma americanum is listed as a harmful organism by several of California’s trading partners.  The moth could disrupt exports of nursery stock but it is not likely to follow fresh fruit pathways.  Eastern tent caterpillar is not expected to change cultural practices or vector other organisms.  Exposure to the caterpillars is thought to cause the equine disease mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) which is responsible for abortions in horses5Malacosoma americanum is not expected to disrupt water supplies.  Eastern tent caterpillar receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Malacosoma americanum is not expected to lower biodiversity, disrupt natural communities, or change ecosystem processes.  It is not expected to affect threatened or endangered species or disrupt critical habitats.  Eastern tent caterpillar often completely defoliates ornamental trees.  This damage is likely to trigger treatment programs by residents, orchards, and the nursery industry.  Malacosoma americanum receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Malacosoma americanum (Eastern Tent Caterpillar):  High (14)

Add up the total score and include it here.

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Malacosoma americanum has never been found in California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (14)

Uncertainty:

Traditionally residents have treated outbreaks by dousing tents with a flammable liquid and setting them on fire during the afternoon when all of the caterpillars are inside, although this is no longer recommended1.  This treatment could cause additional significant environmental impacts in California due to the drier climate.  Existing IPM programs in orchards may preclude damage from Malacosoma americanum.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Malacosoma americanum has not been found in California and is expected to have significant economic and environmental impacts if it were to establish in the state.  An “A” rating is justified.

References:

1 Bessin, Ric. 2013. Eastern Tent Caterpillar. University of Kentucky ENTFACT-423.  http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef423.asp

2 Hyche, L.L. 1996. The Eastern Tent Caterpillar: A Guide to Recognition and Habits in Alabama. Auburn University. http://www.ag.auburn.edu/enpl/bulletins/easterntentcaterpillar/easterntentcaterpillar.htm

3 USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD).  https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/

4 Forest Insect Defoliators. Field Guide to Insects and Disease of Arizona and New Mexico Forests. http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/resources/health/field-guide/fid/tent-caterpillar.shtml

5 Webb, Bruce A., W.E. Barney, D.L. Dahlman, S.N. DeBorde, C. Weer, N.M. Williams, J.M. Donahue, K.J. McDowell. 2003. Eastern tent caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum) cause mare reproductive loss syndrome. Journal of Insect Physiology 50(2-3):185-193. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002219100300249X


Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period:  CLOSED

The 45-day comment period opened on April 7, 2016 and closed on May 22, 2016.


Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment

Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence, including threats.

♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Pest Rating: A


Posted by ls

Terastia meticulosalis Guenée: Erythrina Twigborer

California Pest Rating for
Terastia meticulosalis Guenée: Erythrina Twigborer
Lepidoptera: Crambidae
Pest Rating:  B

 


PEST RATING PROFILE
Initiating Event:

In October 2015 larvae collected from coral tree plants at a nursery in Oceanside (San Diego County) were confirmed by molecular diagnostics to be Terastia meticulosalis, Erythrina twigborer.  A pest rating proposal is required to determine future direction on this pest.

History & Status:

BackgroundTerastia meticulosalis is a moth that feeds on coral trees (Erythrina spp.).  Early instar caterpillars are found inside the stems, leaf stalks, and seed pods1.  Their feeding can cause the tip of the host plant to die back and gradually kill off the upper part of the plant1.  Larvae typically exit the plant to pupate on the ground.  The damage attributed to this moth is reported to make the cultivation of Erythrina nearly impossible in Florida3.  This moth may be transported long distances when infested plants are moved.

Worldwide Distribution: Terastia meticulosalis is native to Central and South America1.  The moth is known to occur in the southern United States from Florida and South Carolina west to Arizona1.  Populations of Terastia spp. in other areas are presently considered to be different species1.

Official Control: Terastia meticulosalis is not known to be under official control in any other states or nations.

California Distribution The only confirmed record of this moth from the environment of California was collected in November 2015 from the Los Angeles County Arboretum.  Unofficial records indicate that the moth may be more widespread (see Uncertainty section below).

California Interceptions:  Terastia meticulosalis has only been intercepted in two nurseries in San Diego County.

The risk Terastia meticulosalis (Erythrina twigborer) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host InteractionErythrina are commonly grown as ornamentals in southern and coastal California and Terastia meticulosalis is expected to establish wherever suitable hosts are available. It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.
Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.
High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Terastia meticulosalis is only known to feed on coral trees in the genus Erythrina.  It receives a Low (1) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

Low (1) has a very limited host range.
Medium (2) has a moderate host range.
High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Terastia meticulosalis is assumed to be capable of rapid reproduction and may be transported long distances when infested plants are moved.  The moth receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.
Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.
High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: If Terastia meticulosalis were to become established in California it is not expected to lower any crop yields.  It may reduce the value of Erythrina nursery stock and increase production costs of those trees.  The moth is not expected to disrupt any markets, change cultural practices, vector other organisms, injure animals, or interfere with water supplies.  Terastia meticulosalis receives a Low (1) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.
B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).
C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).
D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.
E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.
F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.
G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.
Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.
High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Terastia meticulosalis is not expected to lower biodiversity, disrupt natural communities, or change ecosystem practices.  It is not likely to directly affect threatened or endangered species or disrupt critical habitats.  It may trigger additional treatment programs in the nursery industry and by residents who wish to save their coral trees.  Coral trees are grown as ornamentals in southern California and may be extirpated by Terastia meticulosalis.  Erythrina twigborer receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.
B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.
C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.
D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.
E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.
Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.
High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Terastia meticulosalis (Erythrina twigborer):  Medium (10)

Add up the total score and include it here.

Low = 5-8 points
Medium = 9-12 points
High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: The only official sample of Terastia meticulosalis in California was collected from a site in Los Angeles County. It receives a Low (-1) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.
Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).
Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.
High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: Medium (9)

Uncertainty:  

Unconfirmed sightings indicate that this moth could be much more widespread in California including Long Beach (September 21, 2015 – Los Angeles County), Mount Washington (October 25, 2015 – Los Angeles County), and Irvine (November 26, 2015 – Orange County)2.  There have not been any recent formal surveys for this moth in California.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Terastia meticulosalis is only known to be established in Los Angeles County.  However, if it were to establish a more widespread distribution in the state it is likely to have significant economic and environmental impacts to coral trees in the nursery industry and California landscape.  A “B” rating is justified.

References:

1 Sourakov, Andrei. 2012. Common name: Erythrina moths. University of Florida Featured Creatures.  http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/shrubs/erythrina_moths.htm

2 What’s That Bug?  http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2015/10/25/erythrina-borer-visits-wtb-offices/

3 Sourakov, Andrei. 2011. Nice partitioning, co-evolution and life histories of Erythrina moths, Terastia meticulosalis and Agathodes designalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). Trop. Lepid. Res. 21(2): 84-94. http://troplep.org/TLR/21-2/Sourakov-Niche-partitioning-erythrina-moths-TLR-21-2.pdf


Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period:  CLOSED

The 45-day comment period opened on March 8, 2016 and closed on April 22, 2016.


Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment: 

Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence, including threats.

♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Pest Rating:  B


Posted by ls