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Global Biosecurity Threat: New Zealand Light Brown Apple Moth

Posted by feww on September 13, 2008

DO NOT IMPORT NEW ZEALAND FLOWERS, FRUIT, FARM PRODUCE

As of midnight Friday September 12, 2008 the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, is banning all New Zealand flower imports following the discovery of flower shipments containing light brown apple moth eggs.

The light brown apple moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana (Tortricidae), is a native pest of Australia and is now widely distributed in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Caledonia.


Light brown apple moths

USDA confirmed the detection of LBAM in Alameda County, California on March 22, 2007.  The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) aggressively surveyed the area to discover the extent to the infestation and identified the pest in 11 additional counties.  Intense control activities have contained LBAM within the initial detection area, and effectively eradicated the pest from Napa and Los Angeles counties.

LBAM is of particular concern because it can damage a wide range of crops and other plants including California’s prized cypress as well as redwoods, oaks and many other varieties commonly found in California’s urban and suburban landscaping, public parks and natural environment.  The list of agricultural crops that could be damaged by this pest includes grapes, citrus, stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, apricots) and many others.  The complete “host list” contains well over 1,000 plant species and more than 250 fruits and vegetables.

USDA and CDFA are working aggressively to control and eradicate this pest before it has the chance to spread requiring greater resources to protect American agriculture and our urban and suburban landscape. (Source)

Identification

There are many native tortricids that can be confused for the LBAM.  Adult moths must be identified by a qualified entomologist.  Larval stages cannot be reliably identified using morphological characters.  If you suspect the presence of LBAM, please notify your state department of agriculture or the State Plant Health Director’s Office of USDA, APHIS, PPQ.

Eposlarvae
E. postvittana
5th instar larvae

New Zealand: Home to over 250 LBAM host species

The insect is regarded as an herbivorous generalist, and the larvae feed on numerous horticultural crops in Australia and New Zealand, where they have limited natural predators. It is known to feed on 123 dicotyledonous plant species, including 22 Australian natives, belonging to 55 different families. In New Zealand, over 250 host species have been recorded. It feeds on nearly all types of fruit crops, ornamentals, vegetables, glasshouse crops, and occasionally young pine seedlings.

The larvae cause significant damage to foliage and fruit. Early instars feed on tissue beneath the upper epidermis (surface layer) of leaves, while protected under self-constructed silken webs on the undersurface of leaves. Larger larvae migrate from these positions to construct feeding niches between adjacent leaves, between a leaf and a fruit, in the developing bud, or on a single leaf, where the leaf roll develops. The late stage larvae feed on all leaf tissue except main veins

In New Zealand, over 250 host species have been recorded. It feeds on nearly all types of fruit crops, ornamentals, vegetables, glasshouse crops, and occasionally young pine seedlings. (Source)

One Response to “Global Biosecurity Threat: New Zealand Light Brown Apple Moth”

  1. […] Posted by te2ataria on September 13, 2008 SEE ORIGINAL ENTRY: Global Biosecurity Threat: New Zealand Light Brown Apple Moth […]

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