The first report of the Box Tree Moth from Iran, Cydalima perspectalis (Walker, 1859) Lep; Crambidae
Caspian Boxwood, Buxus hyrcana Pojark 1954 (Buxaceae) is one of the rare and evergreen species of the forests in the north of Iran (5). In a visit and survey at Banafsheh forests Park, Chalus, Iran during June - July of 2016, a new crambid pest was collected and identified as Cydalima perspectalis (Walker, 1859). Identification of the species was based on the available literature. This species which is called Box Tree Moth has hitherto not been reported from Iran and this is the first record of Iran.
Specification of area: Banafsheh forest Park, Chaloos area (Chaloos-Kelarabad road longitude: 36°41'22" E, latitude: 51°18'01" N, Altitude: 5- 10 m. The area: 50,000 hectares with boxwood understory. Date of sampling: 19 Jun 2016.
All developmental stages of Box tree moth (an average of 20 specimens from each stage) were collected and studied. A number of older larval (five and six instars) were transferred to the laboratory and reared to pupae and adults.
Morphological and biological characters: The moth has 6 larval instars (3), length of young larva (first instar) about 0.5 cm and greenish-yellow with black head (Fig 2). mature larvae (sixth instar) 3.5- 4 cm, with green ground color and broad black longitudinal stripes and narrow white ones along their body, large black dots outlined in white on the dorsal side, and white hairs on the black dots (Fig 3), length of pupae 1.5-2 cm, initially green with dark stripes on the dorsal surface, but well grown pupae brown with a dark pattern corresponding to the brown wing borders of the adult (Fig 5). Wingspan of the adults 3.5- 4 cm (1), forewing white and slightly iridescent with a broad, marginal dark brown band, a dark brown band in the costal margin, and a distinct white spot at the anterior margin of discoidal cell. Hind wings the same broad marginal dark brown band as in the forewing (2) (Fig 6). The eggs are deposited under the leaves in a mass containing 3-20 eggs, covered with a translucent gelatinous. They are initially, the eggs pale yellow, but change to black close to hatching (Fig 1). The species has five generations per year in its main habitats, while in European countries up to three generations per year has been reported (1). The biology of the species is still under investigation as this important pest is newly reported for the fauna of Iran.
Distribution area: This species is native to some eastern Asian countries (i.e., China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, India and the Russian Far East) (4). In 2006 it was introduced into southwestern Germany and then in 2015 quickly spread up to other European countries (i.e. Switzerland, Netherland, Britain, France, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Georgia). It was found in North of Iran in Jun 2016.
Importance and Damage: The larvae of the box tree moth cause defoliating the host plants and posing a serious damages to these trees. The defoliation reduces the amenity value and repeated severe defoliation can result in the death of plants. Young larvae feed in the lower surfaces of the leaves and leave the upper epidermis intact (Fig 7), whereas older larval stages feed inside the webbing, leaving only midribs intact (Fig 8). If the defoliation produced overlap the effect of drought and high temperature in summer, the risk of drying box trees to is more accentuated (5) (Fig 9).
Applied Entomology and Phytopathology, Volume:84 Issue:1, 2016
209 - 211  
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