Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

The box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) an invasive species threatening the landscape.


The box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis Walker, 1859) is an invasive species that threatens the boxes (Buxus sp.) in Croatia. Great damage is caused on hedges, shrubs and rondels and its necessary to understand the biology and ecology of a new species in order to control this pest. The box tree moth is a moth from the family of Crambidae. The moth is active at night and its white wings have a brown border but also individuals with full brown wings can appear. The adult caterpillar can grow up to 4 cm and it is green with thick black and thin white stripes while it has black spots at dorsal side. The caterpillars are feeding on leaves and covering them with threads while also cause defoliation. It originated from Eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea). Since the first recorded (Germany, 2006) in Croatia it was determined in 2012. and the first damages were already established in 2013 in the arboretum of Opeka (Varaždin County). The spreading of this pest is increasing annually so it is found on a great number of sites. The box tree moth can completely destroy the perennial hedges (up to 100%). It is more and more likely to encounter destroyed hedges and shrubs, and measures of protection are not always giving the best results. By using insecticide Rogor 40 with active substance dimethoate in concentration of 0.20% with systemic and contact activity the number of caterpillars got reduced after the first day of treatment by 33%, on third by 67%, on fifth by 94%, and on seventh day live caterpillars were not found. Although foresters and agronomists are already well aware of the pest, its damages and of the suppression measures, it is important to constantly warn of the drastic damage caused by this pest. It is of great importance to notice the caterpillars and start with the control on time, while the caterpillars are in the early stages. More ecologically acceptable methods of control are shaking the box tree and gathering of caterpillars as well as application of Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. kurstaki based preparations.