Duponchelia fovealis (Southern European marshland pyralid)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Impact Summary
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Duponchelia fovealis Zeller
Preferred Common Name
- Southern European marshland pyralid
Other Scientific Names
- Duponchelia canuisalis Milliere
- DUPOFO (Duponchelia fovealis)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page Although D. fovealis has spread and continues to spread in international trade, it is primarily a threat to protected cultivated crops and not a threat to biodiversity. Hence it is not considered as an invasive species under the terms of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Pyralidae
- Genus: Duponchelia
- Species: Duponchelia fovealis
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page There is only one valid species within the genus Duponchelia, i.e. D. fovealis Zeller 1847, although D. fovealis has also been referred to by the name D. canuisalis Milliere 1868, which should be regarded as a synonym (Leraut, 1980; Trematerra, 1990).
DescriptionTop of page The eggs are oval, 0.5 by 0.7 mm long, and straw-coloured, becoming pale pink then scarlet, then to deep red and finally brown prior to hatching (Trematerra, 1990). Eggs hatch after about 7 days, depending on environmental conditions.
Newly-hatched larvae are approximately 1.5 mm long, with a shiny black head and a salmon-pink body with numerous grey spots at the base of short hairs. Larvae grow to eventually become 17-19 mm. From the initial pale pink colour of the body, it becomes creamy or dirty white with age, often shiny and partly translucent. The colour of the larvae varies depending on the host plant, although they almost always have a conspicuous black head and distinctive grey-brown spots all over the body, each surrounding a short dark brown hair. Trematerra (1990) provides a detailed description of the larvae, together with a description of the arrangement of the hairs (setulae) and how the arrangement varies between instars. Depending on environmental conditions, larvae are fully grown after about 4 weeks. They pupate in an oval cocoon, 15-19 mm long, composed of soil or other detritus, bound with white silk.
Pupae are 9-10 mm long, pale yellow-brown, becoming darker closer to emergence. Cocoons may be found in the soil, in a web between leaves, or in other hidden places within the vicinity of the plant. Adults emerge in 7-14 days depending on temperature, and live for 2 or 3 weeks.
The adult moths have a wingspan of 19-21 mm and a relatively long, narrow abdomen of 9-12 mm. At rest they have a characteristic posture with the wings held slightly apart and the end of the abdomen curled upwards, sometimes at almost 90° from the horizontal. The forewings are pale olivaceous-umbrose/olive-brown, with two narrow cream/honey-coloured vertical lines. The line nearest the wing tip forms a distinctive U-shaped marking near the centre of the wing, and in the male moth, the line nearest the body ends in a cream coloured wedge shaped fovea/triangular marking. The cilia are irregularly coloured umbrose and pale hazel. The hindwings are pale olive-brown, each with a cream coloured central wavy line and cream-coloured wing fringe. The head, antennae and body are olive brown with each body segment having cream-coloured rings. The legs are pale brown. The male is distinguished from the female by the evident fovea present on the forweings and the slightly longer taped body (Trematerra, 1990).
Trematerra (1990) provides photographs of eggs, larvae and adults, with detailed descriptions and illustrations of male and female genitalia.
DistributionTop of page D. fovealis originates in the marshlands of southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean region. It occurs on Mediterranean Islands such as Corsica, Crete, Malta, Sardinia and Sicily, and the Canary Islands (Spuler, 1910; Dalla Guda et al., 1988; Jackel et al., 1994; Huisman and Koster, 1995; Karhsolt and Razowski, 1996).
In continental Europe, D. fovealis occurs outdoors in mainland Spain, for example in Castellon Province (Spuler, 1910) and in some departments of France, for example, Var and Alpes Maritimes (Marion, 1973). Farther north in Europe, D. fovealis is restricted to artificial environments such as glasshouses, especially those that grow aquatic plants, for example in Belgium (Faquaet, 2000), Denmark, Finland (Kyrki and Itaemies, 1984) Germany (Billen, 1993) and Sweden (Svensson, 1999). In The Netherlands, D. fovealis was first identified when a single male was caught in a light trap in 1992 (Huisman and Koster, 1995), although damage caused by the then unidentified larvae had been known since 1989 (Romeijn, 1994). Since 1992, D. fovealis has spread widely in The Netherlands amongst protected cultivation, and it has been found in plastic polytunnels as well as in glasshouses (Romeijn, 1994, 1996; Huisman and Koster, 1995). In the UK, D. fovealis was first recorded from Norwich in 1996 (Hipperson, 1996) and has been reported on a number of occasions since then. Other findings have been from southern England (Essex and Hampshire - Goodey, 1998; Musgrove, 2000), northern England (for example, in Greater Manchester - Cleary-Pugh, 1999) and as far north as south Mainland, Shetland Isles (Goodey, 2000).
Distribution TableTop of page
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/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Syria||Present||Native||Not invasive||Spuler, 1910|
|Turkey||Present||Efil et al., 2011|
|Algeria||Present||Native||Not invasive||Spuler, 1910|
|-Canary Islands||Widespread||Native||Not invasive||Huisman and Koster, 1995; Bradley, 2000; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|Canada||Absent, intercepted only||Introduced||Not invasive||Miller-Cormier, 2005; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|-Ontario||Absent, intercepted only||CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|USA||Transient: actionable, under eradication||EPPO, 2014|
|-California||Present||NAPPO, 2010a; EPPO, 2014|
|-North Carolina||Present||NAPPO, 2010b|
|-South Carolina||Present||NAPPO, 2010b|
|Belgium||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Faquaet, 2000; CABI/EPPO, 2008; EPPO, 2014|
|Bulgaria||Present||Pencheva et al., 2012||In greenhouse.|
|Czech Republic||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Marek and Bártová, 1998; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|Denmark||Absent, intercepted only||Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008; EPPO, 2014|
|Finland||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Kyrki and Itaemies, 1984; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|France||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Not invasive||Marion, 1973; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|-Corsica||Widespread||Native||Not invasive||Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|-France (mainland)||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|Germany||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Billen, 1993; Jackel et al., 1994; Greib, 1996; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|Greece||Present||Native||Not invasive||Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|Hungary||Present, few occurrences||EPPO, 2014|
|Italy||Present||Native||Not invasive||dalla Guda et al., 1988; Arzone and Demichelis, 1989; Trematerra, 1990; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008; EPPO, 2014|
|-Italy (mainland)||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|Macedonia||Present||Native||Not invasive||Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|Malta||Present||Native||Not invasive||Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008; EPPO, 2014|
|Netherlands||Widespread||Introduced||Not invasive||Messlink & van Wensveen, 2003; Romeijn, 1994; Huisman and Koster, 1995; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|Portugal||Present||Native||Not invasive||Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008; EPPO, 2014|
|Spain||Present||Native||Not invasive||Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|-Spain (mainland)||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|Sweden||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Svensson, 1999; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|UK||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Bradley, 2000; Clark, 2000; CABI/EPPO, 2008|
|-England and Wales||Present||CABI/EPPO, 2008|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page D. fovealis is not included in any of the lists prepared by Regional Plant Protection Organisations as pests that are recommended for quarantine status (EPPO, 2006). However, as a polyphagous pest of several ornamental and vegetable crops that is carried among plants in international trade and as a consequence has spread to become a pest in a number of protected horticultural crops in several northern European countries, D. fovealis does represent a phytosanitary risk. In 2005, D. fovealis was detected in Canada, indicating that it also presents a phytosanitary risk to North America.
HabitatTop of page D. fovealis prefers humid environments. The marshlands of southern Europe form its natural habitat. Larvae feeding on cultivated aquatic plants tolerate leaves being temporarily submerged. There have been several infestations of D. fovealis reported from nurseries specialising in ornamental aquatic plants in Denmark, Finland, Germany and The Netherlands.
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page D. fovealis is a polyphagous pest with a wide host range. Hosts include ornamental crop plants, especially aquatic plants, vegetable crops such as celery, pepper and lettuce, and weeds (Romeijn, 1996).
In addition to the hosts listed, D. fovealis causes economic damage on Bacopa, Cryptocoryne and Echinodorus tropica. Other hosts include Ficus triangulatus and species of Cuphea, Heuchera, Lisianthus and Ophiopogon, and the wild species Malva sylvestris, Mentha pulegium and Oxalis acetosella.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Apium graveolens (celery)||Apiaceae||Other|
|Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)||Fabaceae||Other|
|Bellis perennis (common daisy)||Asteraceae||Other|
|Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)||Solanaceae||Other|
|Chenopodium album (fat hen)||Chenopodiaceae||Wild host|
|Codiaeum (ornamental croton)||Euphorbiaceae||Other|
|Convolvulus arvensis (bindweed)||Convolvulaceae||Wild host|
|Euphorbia pulcherrima (poinsettia)||Euphorbiaceae||Main|
|Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus (cut flower crop))||Gentianaceae||Main|
|Gerbera jamesonii (African daisy)||Asteraceae||Other|
|Hyeronima alchorneoides (bully tree)||Euphorbiaceae||Other|
|Kalanchoe blossfeldiana (flaming katy)||Crassulaceae||Main|
|Lactuca sativa (lettuce)||Asteraceae||Other|
|Plantago lanceolata (ribwort plantain)||Plantaginaceae||Wild host|
|Portulaca oleracea (purslane)||Portulacaceae||Wild host|
|Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup)||Ranunculaceae||Wild host|
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage
SymptomsTop of page Leaves spun together, webbing, frass and holes in host leaves or stems are indicators of the presence of larvae. Fine webbing may also occasionally be visible on the surface of growing media. Plants that have collapsed as a result of their stems being chewed, or withered and dried crowns, are also symptoms.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Growing point / external feeding|
|Growing point / frass visible|
|Growing point / internal feeding; boring|
|Inflorescence / external feeding|
|Inflorescence / frass visible|
|Inflorescence / webbing|
|Leaves / external feeding|
|Leaves / frass visible|
|Leaves / webbing|
|Leaves / wilting|
|Roots / internal feeding|
|Stems / internal feeding|
|Stems / lodging; broken stems|
|Whole plant / cut at stem base|
|Whole plant / external feeding|
|Whole plant / frass visible|
|Whole plant / internal feeding|
|Whole plant / plant dead; dieback|
Biology and EcologyTop of page Adult females lay eggs singly or in small groups of 5-10 eggs, overlapping in a tile-like fashion on both the upper and lower surface of leaves close to the veins, or low down on the stem or stalk close to the ground, and perhaps also in the upper soil layer. Each female is capable of laying up to 200 eggs during adulthood. After hatching, larvae feed on the leaves and flowers before they bore into stems and burrow down into the stem to emerge at ground level, where they may chew the outside of the stem and cause the host to collapse (Huisman and Koster, 1995). Stem boring appears to be an important feeding habit in plants with soft woody stems. Larvae can often move from the lower part of the plant to attack the roots, making pest detection difficult. Larvae can be found in concealed locations in and around the host plant, usually in protective webbing, particularly in the lower parts of the plant. However, in dense crops eggs may be laid at the tops of plants and larvae may also be found on the upper parts of the plants, often in protective webbing. Messelink and van Wensveen (2003) report that larvae prefer to inhabit moist soil and feed on roots or organic soil material. Only in densely-planted crops are larvae found in the canopy on leaves (Greib, 1996).
After about 4 weeks, larvae are fully developed and form pupae in earthen cells in the soil, or within the protection of a spun web between leaves in the canopy. Pupae in the soil are covered with soil debris and frass. After 1 or 2 weeks the adult emerges. Adults quickly mate and females can lay eggs within 24 hours of emergence (Romeijn, 1996).
There are no reports of cold tolerance or any type of diapause in any life stage. In warm conditions such as in the Canary Isles, there are two generations per year, the first emerging in early summer (April to May) and the second in late summer (August to September) (Spuler, 1910). In northern Europe there is one generation per year.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page Vector transmission
D. fovealis is not recorded as a vector of any pathogen.
Movement in trade
The occurrence of D. fovealis in glasshouses in northern Europe suggests that the exchange and trade of host plants in commercial trade provides a mechanism for the spread of this pest. In fact, D. fovealis has been detected in consignments of Heuchera and Sambucus plants for planting exported from The Netherlands to the UK (EPPO, 1999a, b). Three of the findings of D. fovealis within the UK have been from within private dwellings (houses), providing circumstantial evidence that the pest was moved with houseplants (Musgrove, 2000).
In spring, 2005, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed the presence of D. fovealis in three Ontario cut flower production greenhouses. All three facilities were known to have imported propagative plant material from countries where the insect is known to occur (Miller-Cormier, 2005).
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx||larvae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Fruits (inc. pods)||larvae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Growing medium accompanying plants||eggs; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Leaves||eggs; larvae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Roots||larvae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually invisible|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||larvae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually invisible|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Loose wood packing material|
|Processed or treated wood|
|Solid wood packing material with bark|
|Solid wood packing material without bark|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page D. fovealis larvae can cause economic damage by feeding on the leaves and flowers of ornamental plants, thereby reducing their quality and therefore value. More significant damage can result when serious feeding damage occurs in the crown of plants, which can cause withering, collapse and death of plants. Such damage has been seen in crops of Eustoma grandiflorum in glasshouses in Italy (Dalla Guda et al., 1988). Host stems can also be so severely attacked that they collapse. Trematerra (1990) provides photographs of damage to Lisianthus seedlings.
In 1984, D. fovealis was found causing damage to an ornamental crop in a glasshouse in Finland. It was the first record of damage in northern Europe (Kyrki and Itaemies, 1984). Since then it has been reported causing damage to protected crops in Denmark, France, Germany and also The Netherlands (Trematerra, 1990), where it is a serious pest of Eustoma grandiflorum, Kalanchoe, Cyclamen and Begonia (Messelink and van Wensveen, 2003).
In The Netherlands, the moth was first identified in 1989 at a water-plant nursery, where the grower said it had occurred each autumn for a number of years previously on plants imported from the Canary Isles (Romeijn, 1996). Within The Netherlands, D. fovealis has spread widely and has spread into vegetable crops such as Capsicum (sweet peppers) and lettuce growing under glass (Romeijn, 1996). Exports of sweet peppers from The Netherlands to the USA have been hampered by the presence of D. fovealis larvae in the fruit (Romeijn, 1996).
German glasshouses growing aquatic plants (in Berlin and Stuttgart) have also suffered from D. fovealis damage (Huisman and Koster, 1995). In 1998, D. fovealis was recorded in the Czech Republic for the first time as a troublesome pest of aquatic plants cultivated under glass (Marek and Bartova, 1998).
Detection and InspectionTop of page Hosts liable to be infested by D. fovealis should be examined by eye for eggs on leaves or for symptoms of larval damage. Adults may be detected through the use of sticky traps or blue light traps which are in use in commercial glasshouses for general pest monitoring purposes. Pheromones as attractants and trap baits have been developed in The Netherlands (Griepink, 1997).
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page The wing markings and position adopted when adults are at rest make this species very distinct.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Once a pest population has been detected, larvae can be targeted by foliar applications of insecticides. The insect growth regulator teflubenzuron can provide effective control. However, control may be difficult as caterpillars inside stems will be protected from treatment. Indeed, Trematerra (1990) suggested that intervention to control the pest may be futile; instead, young plants that are infested should be pricked out (roguing).
In lettuce in The Netherlands, good control was reported using Bacillus thuringiensis, but control has not been as good in other crops. The use of entomopathogenic nematodes, i.e. Steinernema sp., is also reported as a useful treatment, particularly under conditions of high humidity, since the nematodes may be able to locate the concealed larvae (Jackel et al., 1994).
In laboratory trials, the soil-dwelling mites Hypoaspis miles and H. aculeifer, as well as the staphilinid beetle Atheta coriaria, provided excellent control of eggs and first-instar larvae (Messelink and van Wensveen, 2003).
ReferencesTop of page
Billen W, 1993. On the harmfulness of Duponchelia fovealis (Zeller, 1847) in Germany (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae). Nota Lepidopterol, 16: 3-4, p. 212.
Bradley JD, 2000. Checklist of Lepidoptera recorded from the British Ises, Second Edition (revised).
Clark JS, 2000. Duponchelia fovealis arriving on imported plant material, Atropos 10:20-21.
Cleary-Pugh P, 1999. A further record of Duponchelia fovealis, Atrpos, 8:54.
Efil L; Efil F; Atay E, 2011. New pest Duponchelia fovealis Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in peanut field. Journal of Applied Biological Sciences, 5(3):65-67. http://www.nobel.gen.tr/Makaleler/JABS-Issue%203-85-2012.pdf
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Faquaet M, 2000. Duponchelia fovealis, een nieuwe soort voor de Belgische fauna (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Phegea 28:(1).
Goodey B, 1998. Second British record of Duponchelia fovealis, Atropos, 5:70.
Goodey B, 2000. Duponchelia fovealis resident in Essex? e-message UK-Leps bulletin board (http://www.egroups.co.jp/message/uk-leps/555).
Greib G, 1996. Auch in rheinischen Zierpflanzenbetrieben beobachet: neuer Schadschmetterling (Duponchelia fovealis). Rheinische Monatsschrift fur Gemuse-, Obst- und Zierpflanzen, 532-533.
Guda Cdalla; Capizzi A; Trematerra P, 1988. Symptoms of damage on Eustoma grandiflorum (Raf.) Shinn. caused by the pyralid Duponchelia fovealis (Zeller). Annali dell'Istituto Sperimentale per la Floricoltura, 19(1):3-11
Hipperson D, 1996. The first British record of Duponchelia fovealis, Atrpos, 3.
Huisman KJ; Koster JC, 1995. New and interesting Microlepidoptera from The Netherlands (Lepidoptera) in the year 1992. Entomologische Berichten (Amsterdam) 55(4):53-67.
Jackel B; Kummer B; Kurzhals M, 1994. Problemschadling Duponchelia, De Ga Pflanzenschultz, 31:1698-1700.
Kyrki J; Itaemies J, 1984. Duponchelia fovealis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) introduced into Finland. Nota Entomol., 64(2):80.
Leraut P, 1980. Systematic and synonymic list of the Lepidoptera of France, Belgium and Corsica. Liste systematique et synonymique des Lepidopteres de France, Belgique et Corse. Societe Entomologique de France. Paris France, 334 pp.
Marion H, 1973. Revision des Pyraustidae de France (suite). Alexanor, 8:139-136.
Messelink G; van Wensveen W, 2003. Biocontrol of Duponchelia fovealis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) with soil-dwelling predators in potted plants. Proceedings of the 55th International Symposium on Crop Protection, Ghent, May 6th 2003. Communications in Agricultural And Applied Biological Sciences, Ghent University 68(4a):159-165.
Miller-Cormier D, 2005. Duponchelia fovealis - Finding in Ontario Cut Flower Production Facilities. Official Pest Reports for Canada, 07/15/2005 http://www.pestalert.org/notifications.cfm?region=Canada#146.
Musgrove A, 2000. Another indoor record of Duponchelia fovealis, Atropos, 9:82-83.
NAPPO, 2010. Phytosanitary Alert System: Thirteen new state detections of Duponchelia fovealis, United States. NAPPO. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=466
Pencheva A; Shahanova M; Yovkova M; Kabatliiska Z, 2012. Species composition and importance of insect pests on plant species used in interior vertical gardens. Acta Entomologica Bulgarica, 15(1/2):107-115. http://www.pensoft.net/book/10129/acta-entomologica-bulgarica
Romeijn G, 1994. Duponchelia fovealis: A new pest in glasshouses. Plant Protection Service Annual Report 1992, 50.
Romeijn G, 1996. [Duponchelia fovealis (Zeller): the new hazard]. Groenten + Fruit, Dec 13 1996: 12-13.
Spuler A, 1910. Die Schmetterlinge Europas. Kleinschmetterlinge, 1-523, Stuttgart, Germany.
Szaboky C, 1994. New data for the Hungarian Microlepidoptera fauna: The Hungarian distribution of Anchia species and the first Hungarian record of Duponchelia fovealis Zeller, 1847. Folia Entomologica Hungarica, 55:406-407.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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