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Datasheet

Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Chrysodeixis chalcites
  • Preferred Common Name
  • golden twin-spot moth
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Although C. chalcites has been recorded in northern Europe, winter mortality prevents its long-term establishment out of doors. However, it has been able to extend its natural distribution into northern Europe by establishing in glasshouses. This can...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); adult, alert. Indonesia.
TitleAdult
CaptionChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); adult, alert. Indonesia.
Copyright©Merle Shepard, Gerald R.Carner & P.A.C Ooi/Insects and their Natural Enemies Associated with Vegetables and Soybean in Southeast Asia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); adult, alert. Indonesia.
AdultChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); adult, alert. Indonesia.©Merle Shepard, Gerald R.Carner & P.A.C Ooi/Insects and their Natural Enemies Associated with Vegetables and Soybean in Southeast Asia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva, in extended posture. USA.
TitleLarva
CaptionChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva, in extended posture. USA.
Copyright©Steve Hatch/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva, in extended posture. USA.
LarvaChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva, in extended posture. USA.©Steve Hatch/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva, in 'looping' posture. USA.
TitleLarva
CaptionChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva, in 'looping' posture. USA.
Copyright©Steve Hatch/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva, in 'looping' posture. USA.
LarvaChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva, in 'looping' posture. USA.©Steve Hatch/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); pupa on soyabean.
TitlePupa
CaptionChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); pupa on soyabean.
Copyright©Ernst Neering
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); pupa on soyabean.
PupaChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); pupa on soyabean.©Ernst Neering
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva. Note presence of Braconid wasp (Glyptapanteles phytometrae) cocoon, a natural enemy.
TitleLarva
CaptionChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva. Note presence of Braconid wasp (Glyptapanteles phytometrae) cocoon, a natural enemy.
Copyright©Merle Shepard, Gerald R.Carner & P.A.C Ooi/Insects and their Natural Enemies Associated with Vegetables and Soybean in Southeast Asia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Chrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva. Note presence of Braconid wasp (Glyptapanteles phytometrae) cocoon, a natural enemy.
LarvaChrysodeixis chalcites (golden twin-spot moth, tomato looper); mature larva. Note presence of Braconid wasp (Glyptapanteles phytometrae) cocoon, a natural enemy.©Merle Shepard, Gerald R.Carner & P.A.C Ooi/Insects and their Natural Enemies Associated with Vegetables and Soybean in Southeast Asia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Chrysodeixis chalcites (Esper)

Preferred Common Name

  • golden twin-spot moth

Other Scientific Names

  • Autographa chalcites Linnaeus
  • Autographa chalcites Esper
  • Chrysodeixis chalcytes (Doubleday)
  • Chrysodeixis chalcytes (Esper)
  • Noctua chalcites Esper
  • Noctua chalcytes Esper
  • Noctua chalsytis Hubner
  • Noctua questionis Fabricius
  • Phalaena chalcites Esper
  • Phytometra chalcites Esper
  • Plusia buchholzi Plotz
  • Plusia chalcites (Esper)
  • Plusia chalcytes Saalmuller
  • Plusia cohaerens Schultz

International Common Names

  • English: garden, looper, green; golden twin spot; green garden looper; green looper; green semi-looper; groundnut semi-looper; tomato leafworm; tomato looper
  • French: noctuelle de l'artichaut

Local Common Names

  • Norway: gullmetallfly

EPPO code

  • PLUSCH (Chrysodeixis chalcites)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page Although C. chalcites has been recorded in northern Europe, winter mortality prevents its long-term establishment out of doors. However, it has been able to extend its natural distribution into northern Europe by establishing in glasshouses. This can be considered as a type of invasiveness.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Noctuidae
  •                             Genus: Chrysodeixis
  •                                 Species: Chrysodeixis chalcites

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Chrysodeixis chalcites has been known by many names since Esper first described it in 1789 as Phalaena chalcites. The substitution of an 'i' for the 'y' in the spelling of the species name has increased the number of ways the name appears in the literature. The present genus name has also been spelt in different ways, including Chryodeicis, Chrysodixis and Chrysodeixia (Nye, 1975). The accepted spelling of the genus and species name is Chrysodeixis chalcites. The confusion between Chrysodeixis chalcites and C. eriosoma is unresolved although Kostrowicki (1961) described C. chalcites as a species in its own right and separated it from C. eriosoma Doubleday on the basis of differences in wing facies, forewing coloration and morphological differences in cornuti of male genitalia. Benn et al. (1982) suggested that C. chalcites and C. eriosoma may be vicariant species. Holloway (1985) disagreed and thought that although there were only slight differences in the characters separating the two species, they were indeed distinct species. Later Holloway et al. (1987) suggested that the relationship between the two species required clarification.

Description

Top of page Ovum/Egg

White to pale green and shiny. Dome-shaped with 28 to 32 vertical ribs from the micropyle to the base (Bretherton, 1983; Goodey, 1991).

Larva

Mature larvae are 34 to 38 mm long, pale yellow-green with a glassy green to grey head edged with a black streak. Above the spiracles on each side of the body is a thin dark green or black line stretching from the head to the seventh abdominal segment, below this is a thicker white line from the head to the tip of the anal proleg. Spiracles are black. The ventral region is speckled with white dots (Haggett, 1980; Bretherton, 1983; Passoa, 1995; Porter, 1997). Larvae have only three pairs of prolegs, instead of the normal five, resulting in the looping gait giving rise to some of the common names.

Haggett (1980) provides a detailed description and colour illustration of the final larval instar.

Pupa

The pupa is 20 mm long, black in a white cocoon which turns brown then black (Harakly and Farag, 1975; Bretherton, 1983; Sannino et al. 1988).

Adult

The adult wingspan is approximately 40 mm. The forewing is 15-17 mm, usually gold, although some individuals have more of a bronze colour. There are two oval silver spots on the forewing although in some individuals these are united. The hindwing is more pale. There are two prominent crests on the thorax (Pinhey, 1979; Bretherton, 1983; Passoa, 1995).

Distribution

Top of page C. chalcites is primarily distributed between 45°N and 35°S, from southern Europe and the Mediterranean and the Middle East to southern Africa. Literature referring to C. chalcites (= chalcytes) in southern or eastern Asia or Oceania actually refers to C. eriosoma (Zhang, 1994).

C. chalcites immigrants from North Africa or southern Europe, borne on strong southerly winds, are sometimes recorded in central and northern Europe (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) in the late summer or autumn (Jor, 1973; Bretherton, 1983; Hachler et al., 1998; Palmqvist, 1998, 2002). There are about 50 records of C. chalcites as a migrant to the UK between 1943 and 1990 (Bretherton, 1983). Outdoor breeding populations occur in Europe as far north as northern Spain and northern Italy. No successful breeding is reported out-of-doors in northern Europe.

Lempke (1982) and Vos and Rutten (1995) noted that C. chalcites is present all year round in glasshouses in the Netherlands. Veire (1993) reported populations established in glasshouses in Belgium. However, there is no evidence that C. chalcites can overwinter outdoors in the Netherlands (Lempke, 1982) or elsewhere in northern Europe.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

India
-Indian PunjabPresentSukhpalvir et al., 2003
IranPresentNativeCIE, 1977
IraqPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Gasim and Younis, 1989
IsraelPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Broza and Sneh, 1994
JordanPresentNativeCIE, 1977
LebanonPresentNativeCIE, 1977
SyriaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
TurkeyPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Kornosor, 1987; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Soldan and Spitzer, 1983
AngolaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
CameroonPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Pinhey, 1979
Cape VerdePresentNativeCIE, 1977; Lima and van Harten, 1985; van and Harten Miranda, 1985
ComorosPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Dufay, 1982; Zhang, 1994
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentCIE, 1977
Côte d'IvoirePresentNativeToguebaye and Bouix, 1983
EgyptPresentNative, ; Harakly, 1974; CIE, 1977; Harakly et al., 1982
GambiaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
GuineaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
KenyaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
LibyaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
MadagascarPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Pinhey, 1979
MalawiPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Pinhey, 1979
MauritiusPresent, few occurrencesNativeDove and Williams, 1971; CIE, 1977; Anon., 1984; Zhang, 1994
MoroccoPresentNativeCIE, 1977
MozambiquePresentNativePinhey, 1979
NigeriaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
RéunionPresentNativeCIE, 1977
Saint HelenaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentNativeCIE, 1977
SenegalPresent, few occurrencesNativeCIE, 1977; Bhatnagar, 1983
SeychellesPresentNativeCIE, 1977
Sierra LeonePresentNativeCIE, 1977
South AfricaPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Anon., 1978; Pinhey, 1979
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Zhang, 1994; Spitzer and Jaros, 2004; Pino et al., 2013
TunisiaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
UgandaPresentNativeCIE, 1977
ZambiaPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Pinhey, 1979
ZimbabwePresent, few occurrencesNativeCIE, 1977; Pinhey, 1979; Taylor, 1980; Taylor and Kunjeku, 1983; Lapointe et al., 1995

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
AustriaPresent, few occurrencesKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
BelgiumRestricted distributionVeire , 1993; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
BulgariaRestricted distributionLoginova, 1992; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
CyprusPresentNativeCIE, 1977
DenmarkPresent, few occurrencesJor, 1973; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
FrancePresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
-CorsicaPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
GermanyPresent, few occurrencesKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
GreecePresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
HungaryPresentNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
ItalyPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
-SicilyPresentGarzia and Siscaro, 2003
MaltaPresentNativeValletta, 1973; CIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
NetherlandsRestricted distributionLempke, 1982; Vos and Rutten, 1995; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
PolandPresentNapiorkowska-Kowalik and Gawowska, 2006in glasshouses
PortugalPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; Marques et al., 1999
-AzoresPresentVieira, 2003
-MadeiraPresentNativeCIE, 1977
RomaniaPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
SerbiaPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
SpainPresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
SwedenPresent, few occurrencesJanzon, 1998; Palmqvist, 1998; Palmqvist, 2002
SwitzerlandPresent, few occurrencesKarsholt and Razowski, 1996; Hachler et al., 1998
UKPresent, few occurrencesKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)PresentNativeCIE, 1977; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996

Risk of Introduction

Top of page C. chalcites is on the A2 quarantine pest list for South Africa (EPPO, 2002). Larvae of C. chalcites can move on hosts traded internationally. For example, C. chalcites have been found carried with Pelargonium from Germany to Hungary (Meszaros and Tusnadi, 1994) and on Chrysanthemum morifolium and Pelargonium from the Canary Isles imported into the UK (Seymour and Kilby, 1978). C. chalcites has also been found in Italy on bananas from the Canary Isles (Jannone, 1966). C. chalcites is a tropical and subtropical pest although it has established in glasshouses in northern Europe, where out-of-doors the climate is unfavourable. There is a risk that it will establish in protected cultivation elsewhere, for example in the USA, where there have been findings in Ohio in glasshouses growing Pelargonium (Passoa, 1995).

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page C. chalcites is highly polyphagous, feeding on many fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops and weeds in many plant families including Acanthaceae, Asteraceae, Bignoniaceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae, Convolvulaceae, Crassulaceae, Lamiaceae, Fabaceae, Malvaceae, Orchidaceae, Rosaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Solanaceae, Verbenaceae and Violaceae. It can be a pest of crops grown outdoors and in protection, including both shade and glasshouses.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
AeschynanthusOther
Anethum graveolens (dill)ApiaceaeOther
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)FabaceaeOther
AsterAsteraceaeOther
Brassica oleracea var. botrytis (cauliflower)BrassicaceaeOther
Brassica oleracea var. capitata (cabbage)BrassicaceaeOther
Brassica spp.BrassicaceaeOther
Brassicaceae (cruciferous crops)BrassicaceaeOther
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeOther
Chrysanthemum indicum (chrysanthemum)AsteraceaeOther
CitrusRutaceaeOther
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus (globe artichoke)AsteraceaeOther
DahliaAsteraceaeOther
Dianthus (carnation)CaryophyllaceaeOther
Echium vulgare ((common) viper's-bugloss)BoraginaceaeWild host
Ficus benjamina (weeping fig)MoraceaeOther
Ficus carica (fig)MoraceaeOther
Ficus elastica (rubber plant)MoraceaeOther
Fragaria (strawberry)RosaceaeOther
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeMain
Gossypium herbaceum (short staple cotton)MalvaceaeMain
Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke)AsteraceaeOther
Hippeastrum hybrids (amaryllis)LiliaceaeOther
Lactuca sativa (lettuce)AsteraceaeOther
Lycopersicon pennelliiSolanaceaeOther
Marrubium (horehound)LamiaceaeWild host
Medicago sativa (lucerne)FabaceaeOther
Musa (banana)MusaceaeOther
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)SolanaceaeMain
Pelargonium (pelargoniums)GeraniaceaeOther
Phaseolus (beans)FabaceaeMain
Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)FabaceaeMain
Salvia officinalis (common sage)LamiaceaeOther
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeMain
Solanum tuberosum (potato)SolanaceaeMain
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (Jamaica vervain)VerbenaceaeOther
Teucrium scorodonia (wood germander)LamiaceaeWild host
Tradescantia zebrina (wandering jew)CommelinaceaeOther
Trifolium repens (white clover)FabaceaeOther
Triticum aestivum (wheat)PoaceaeOther
Urtica dioica (stinging nettle)UrticaceaeWild host
Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeOther

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

Top of page

Fruit

  • external feeding

Leaves

  • external feeding
  • frass visible
  • leaves rolled or folded
  • webbing

Whole plant

  • external feeding
  • frass visible

Biology and Ecology

Top of page C. chalcites is a polyvoltine species, with up to eight or nine generations per year in Egypt (Rashid et al., 1971; Harakly and Farag, 1975). After emergence females mate then begin oviposition within 2 or 3 days (Gasim and Younis, 1989). Eggs are laid on upper and lower leaf surfaces at night, whilst females are on the wing, females only briefly touching the leaf to deposit one, two or a few eggs at a time (Harakly and Farag, 1975). Eggs are very widely scattered in the crop (Linden, 1996). At 20°C egg incubation lasts between 5 and 26 days (Gaumont and Moreau, 1961).

Reports in the literature show considerable variation in the number of eggs oviposited. Harakly and Farag (1975) reported females laying from 14 to 281 eggs with a mean of 149. In contrast, Gasim and Younis (1989) reported the mean number of eggs laid per female to be much higher with 385, 640 and 405 eggs at 20, 25 and 30°C, respectively.

Gasim and Younis (1989) studied the development rate of C. chalcites eggs at three temperatures, 20, 25 and 30°C. The mean length of time between oviposition and egg hatch decreased with increasing temperature. At the lower temperature eggs took 4.5 days to hatch, at 25°C they took an average of 3.0 days and at the upper temperature they took 2.0 days. In mild winters eggs are laid outdoors in northern Italy and development continues although larval mortality is often high (Tremblay, 1975).

First-instar larvae graze on the underside of leaves feeding on parenchyma. They can be quite difficult to detect. A larva will drop from the leaf and hang on a silken thread if disturbed (Goodey, 1991). During the second and third instars the larva begins to roll the edges of the leaves together and silken threads are spun on infested leaves (Rashid et al., 1971). Later instars eat through the leaves making infested leaves appear skeletonized. The last two larval instars are the most voracious feeders and will usually eat the entire leaf but may avoid the midrib, or other large veins. On legumes they may excavate deep into pods, sometimes cutting them in two. At the optimal temperature of 25°C there are six larval instars, each lasts approximately 2.5 to 3.5 days (Rashid et al., 1971; Harakly and Farag, 1975). At cooler temperatures the entire larval period lasts 44 to 50 days (Gaumont and Moreau, 1961).

The mature larva stops feeding and enters a prepupal stage. It spins a cocoon within which it pupates. The cocoon is usually attached to the underside of a leaf but can be in the soil (Harakly and Farag, 1975). Gaumont and Moreau (1961) reported that the pupal period lasted 15 to 26 days although at the optimal temperature of 25°C it averages 8.8 days (Rashid et al., 1971).

Adults emerge and soon begin to fly and mate. They rest with the wings folded over their back like a tent. Adults are semi-nocturnal and usually avoid strong sunlight. Generations continually breed through the year with no diapause. There are nine generations per year in Egypt (Harakly and Farag, 1975). In Spain the largest populations occur in August and September (Izquierdo et al., 1996) although in Bulgaria maximum densities are recorded between April and June (Lecheva and Loginova, 1988).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Bacillus thuringiensis alesti Pathogen Larvae
Compsilura concinnata Parasite Larvae
Copidosoma truncatellum Parasite Hawaii
Cotesia kazak Parasite Larvae
Cotesia marginiventris Parasite Larvae Cape Verde cabbages; tomatoes
Cotesia ruficrus Parasite Larvae New Zealand
Ctenochares bicolorus Parasite Larvae
Drino imberbis Parasite Larvae/Pupae
Eulophus pennicornis Parasite Larvae
Meteorus gyrator Parasite Larvae
Meteorus pulchricornis Parasite Larvae
Nemorilla maculosa Parasite Larvae
Nomuraea rileyi Pathogen
Pales pavida Parasite Larvae
Pimpla hypochondriaca Parasite Larvae
Pseudogonia rufifrons Parasite Larvae/Pupae
Stomoxys calcitrans Parasite Larvae not specific
Stomoxys calcitrans Parasite Sankar et al., 2005
Sturmia bella Parasite Larvae
Telenomus busseolae Parasite Eggs
Trichogramma achaeae Parasite Eggs Cape Verde Brassica; cabbages; tomatoes
Trichogramma canariensis Parasite Eggs Pino et al., 2013
Trichogramma evanescens Parasite Eggs
Voria ruralis Parasite Larvae

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page The hymenopteran parasitoid Eulophus pennicornis was found in glasshouse sweet peppers in Belgium parasitizing C. chalcites (Veire, 1993). Two parasitoids are recorded from Spain, Cotesia kazak and Meteorus pulchricornis. In surveys, 31.4% of larvae were parasitized (Cabello, 1989). Parasitic wasps attacking C. chalcites prefer to target groups of eggs, where they can oviposit all their eggs in one go (Linden, 1996).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page C. chalcites is not recorded as a vector.

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Fruits (inc. pods) eggs; larvae No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Leaves eggs; larvae No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Non-wood
Processed or treated wood
Solid wood packing material with bark
Solid wood packing material without bark

Impact

Top of page C. chalcites is a polyphagous polyvoltine species that feeds on the foliage and fruit of vegetable, fruit and ornamental crops. It is considered as one of the most serious lepidopteran pests in many countries although quantitative data measuring damage is lacking.

C. chalcites is the major pest of tomato in Israel during the growing season (Broza and Sneh, 1994) causing considerable damage to the leaves and vegetative parts of the plant although it does not bore into the fruit (Harakly and Farag, 1975). In Israel it is also one of the most important noctuid pests of fodder crops such as lucerne and clover (Avidov and Harpaz, 1969). It also feeds on lucerne, maize and soyabean in Spain (Amate et al., 1998). In northern Italy, C. chalcites is one of the principal arthropod pests on soyabean (Zandigiacomo, 1990); it also attacks fields of artichokes (Ippolito and Parenzan, 1985). In Egypt, C. chalcites is considered as the most serious of all semi-looper pests attacking field fruit and vegetables. It is a serious pest of potato in Mauritius (Anon., 1984).

In protected cultivation, C. chalcites can occur at any time of the year (Linden, 1996) where it can reach high levels of infestation on vegetables and ornamental plants. It is reported as a serious pest in Bulgaria and Turkey (Loginova, 1992; Uygun and Ozgur, 1980) affecting tomato, cucumber and peppers. C. chalcites is one of the four main noctuid pests of glasshouse crops in Sicily (Inserra and Calabretta, 1985) and a continual pest in glasshouses in the Netherlands (Vos and Rutten, 1995) and Belgium (Veire, 1983).

Detection and Inspection

Top of page Leaves should be examined on upper and lower surfaces for larvae. Damage symptoms such as skeletonized or rolled leaves with webbing may be easier to detect.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page In Africa and Europe, C. chalcites may be confused with C. acuta although C. acuta is larger and has a more pointed forewing. The silver spots are also larger (Bretherton, 1983).

In the USA immigrant C. chalcites appear similar to Pseudoplusia includens. Larvae should be reared to adulthood to confirm their identity (Passoa, 1995).

The relationship between C. chalcites and C. eriosoma needs clarification (Holloway et al., 1987).

Prevention and Control

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Pyrethroids such as cypermethrin or deltamethrin can give control of C. chalcites. Bassi et al. (2000) reported effective control of C. chalcites using indoxacarb (an oxadiazine) on vegetable crops in open fields and plastic houses in Italy. Misappropriate use of chemicals can lead to the development of resistance.

The insect growth regulator cyromazine, gave good control of second- and fourth-instar larvae of C. chalcites in glasshouses on tomatoes, lettuce and ornamentals when applied as a foliar spray (Veire and Degheele, 1994).

Different strains of Bacillus thuringiensis gave full control (100% efficacy) of C. chalcites when sprayed on tomatoes grown under net protection or in non-heated greenhouses in Sicily, Italy (Vacante et al., 2001). B. thuringiensis var. kurstaki is used to control C. chalcites in Israel (Broza and Sneh, 1994).

Toguebaye and Bouix (1983) demonstrated that the entomopathogenic fungus Nosema manierae can kill C. chalcites larvae in a few days.

Pheromone trapping has been used in field experiments in Israel. The most effective lure was found to be a mixture of 1 mg (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate and 0.2 mg (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate absorbed on rubber septa (Dunkelblum et al., 1981). Pheromone trapping has been tried in glasshouses in the Netherlands but has not proved successful (Bos, 1983).

There are reports of natural enemies providing some control in protected conditions. The natural enemies predate or parasitize eggs and larvae. In Italian glasshouses the predatory pentatomid heteropterans Podisus maculiventris and P. nigrispinus both from North America have been tested as control agents (Vacante et al., 1996). In the UK, under controlled conditions the endoparasitic braconid Meteorus gyrator showed considerable potential as a biocontrol agent against C. chalcites. Parasitized larvae showed an 80% reduction in the weight of tomato leaf-tissue eaten although this level of control was not shown under less controlled, commercial conditions (Bell et al., 2000). Research has shown that because the eggs are laid singly and widely apart, parasitization and predation cannot progress efficiently. However, there has been some success. For example, Pizzol et al. (1997) released 7000 Trichogramma evanescens in 800 m² of a tomato crop grown under glass in France, on three occasions, 15 days apart. This action resulted in 82% of C. chalcites eggs being parasitized. In the Cape Verde Islands, the solitary endoparasitoid Cotesia marginiventris was introduced with some success for the control of C. chalcites in the field (Lobo Lima and Harten, 1985).

It is not only invertebrates that can be used as natural control agents. Linden (2000) describes an experiment where Alcippe brunnea, a bird found in dense forest undergrowth in India, successfully controlled C. chalcites on sweet peppers grown in glasshouses in the Netherlands.

References

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Amate J; Barranco P; Cabello T, 1998. Identification of larvae of the principal noctuid pest species in Spain (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Boletin de Sanidad Vegetal, Plagas, 24(1):101-106.

Anon., 1978. Annual report 1975-76. Plant Protection Research Institute Report, South Africa.

Anon., 1984. Annual report 1983. Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute, Reduit, Mauritius, 77 pp.

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