Impact of the box-tree moth in Europe and potential of biological control by the introduction of parasitoids.
The box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) is threatening the survival of ornamental and wild box trees (Buxus spp.) in Europe. While its economic impact is rather minor, the environmental impact through the eradication of its host tree and cascading effects on biodiversity and ecosystems functioning is significant. In some regions, box has a high cultural and religious value, and the social impact of its disappearance is not negligible. Only natural enemies will be able to save box stands, either by the adaptation of native natural enemies or by the release of Asian species. Preliminary studies have allowed the selection of two Asian parasitoids as candidate biocontrol agents, but further investigations are needed to assess their potential and the risks posed to non-target species.