Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg, 1885)
Zophodia cactorum Berg, 1885
se. LA to FL to SC - Map (1)
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). Widely dist. in southern FL, spreading east along the Gulf Coast to New Orleans and north along the Atlantic Coast to SC.
The larvae feed internally on the pads of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia)
The moth has become a pest in se US.
This South American moth was introduced into Australia to control cacti, which are not native to that continent and which were becoming a very serious pest. It was so successful that memorials and monuments to it have been erected by grateful citizens there.
Johnson, D.M, and P.D. Stiling. 1998. Distribution and dispersal of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), an exotic Opuntia-feeding moth, in Florida. Florida Entomologist 81(1): 12-22.
Mann, J., 1969. Cactus-feeding insects and mites. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 256: 1-158. (p. 44
Simonson, S.E., T.J. Stohlgren, L. Tyler, W.P. Gregg, R. Muir, and L.J. Garrett. 2005. Preliminary assessment of the potential impacts and risks of the invasive cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum Berg, in the U.S. and Mexico. Final Report to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Zimmermann, H., S. Bloem, and H. Klein. 2004. Biology, history, threat, surveillance and control of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum. International Atomic Energy Agency: Austria.