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Cactus Moth

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Cactus Moth, Adult
Cactus Moth, Adult - Photo by Dale Habeck
Scientific Name: 
Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Zimmermann et al. 2004)
Common Name: 
Cactus moth, prickly pear moth
Native To: 
South America (Simonson et al. 2005)
Date of U.S. Introduction: 
Means of Introduction: 
Imported to the Caribbean to control prickly pear cacti; arrived in the U.S. naturally or in cargo imported from the Caribbean (Johnson and Stiling 1998)
Impact: 
Feeds on prickly pear cacti (species in the genus Opuntia) (Johnson and Stiling 1998)

Spotlights

University of Texas at Austin.

The cactus moth has a wingspan of only about an inch, but this invasive insect has the potential to cause largescale agricultural and ecological devastation in Texas, according to the first study of cactus moths in Texas. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin's Invasive Species Project based at Brackenridge Field Laboratory in Austin have found that four native species of prickly pear cactus — and the species that rely on them — face a serious health threat from the moth.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

USDA. APHIS. Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey. National Agricultural Pest Information System.

Federally Regulated

U.S. Government Printing Office. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

Images

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Cactus Moth.

Partnership
UN. Food and Agriculture Organization; International Atomic Energy Agency. Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.
Nature Conservancy. Don't Move Firewood.
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Federal Government
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.
State and Local Government

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Plant Industry Division. Plant Protection Section.

See also: Other Pest Topics for more resources

Academic
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source Publication #ENY056

Citations