First detection of leopard moth in Canada
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Name: Zeuzera pyrina (Linnaeus)
Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Lepidoptera: Cossidae
Common Names: leopard moth; wood leopard; hazel wood borer; la zeuzere (French); taladro amarillo de los troncos (Spanish)
An adult moth and larvae tunneling in the wood of young ash trees (Fraxinus sp.) were discovered in July, 2001 at two residential properties south of Vineland, Ontario, in one of Canada's major fruit-growing regions. Follow-up surveys in August, consisting of trace-back investigations and pheromone trapping, failed to uncover additional specimens.
Issues of Concern: Z. pyrina is highly polyphagous, feeding on trees and shrubs of at least 11 genera, several of which are of great economic importance. Infestations, if not controlled, have a tendency to increase in intensity from year to year. Affected trees also become more susceptible to attack by wooly apple aphids, bark beetles, and other xylophagous pests, depending on the tree species. Z. pyrina therefore presents a significant risk to both agricultural and natural systems. In Mediterranean regions, the leopard moth is considered one of the most important pests of apple, pear and olive. Its wide distribution range suggests adaptability to a variety of conditions, as well as a great potential for dispersal.
Living trees and shrubs. Solid wood packing material. Dispersal by flying.
Hosts: Among the preferred hosts are trees and shrubs of the genera Malus, Tilia, Pyrus, Acer, Rhododendron, Ulmus, Castanea, Populus, Fraxinus, Quercus, and Juglans.
Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia); Asia/Middle East (China, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Russia, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine); Europe (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, former Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, former Yugoslavia); United States (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota).
Infestations may be recognized by the presence of frass and particles of wood around the entrance holes of larval tunnels. In addition, certain trees, such as olive, react to infestations by secreting gum. Other symptoms of larval attack include shoot tips that appear dead, and premature color change in apical leaves. However, these symptoms may not become apparent until the year subsequent to hatching of the larvae. CFIA also promotes pheromone trapping as an effective detection method.
Z. pyrina larvae can become 5-6 cm long. Older larvae have prominent black tubercles on their back. The adult moth is velvety white with dark spots on the wings.
This moth was introduced to the United States in the 1880's, where it is now established in all states of the Northeast. There have been anecdotal accounts of the leopard moth in Canada since the 1950's, but to the best of our knowledge this report represents the first confirmed identification.
Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Alford, D.V. 1995. A Colour Atlas of Pests of Ornamental Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers. Halsted Press. 448 pp.
Carter, D.J. 1984. Pest Lepidoptera of Europe with special reference to the British Isles. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Dr. W. Junk. 431 pp.
Commonwealth Institute of Entomology. 1973. Distribution Maps of Plant Pests, No. 314. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, Farnham Royal, Slough, UK. 2 pp.
Warning: The information in this archived item was not confirmed with the appropriate National Plant Protection Organization and is provided solely for informational purposes. Please use this information with caution.