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Biology, History, Threat, Surveillance and Control of the Cactus Moth, Cactoblastis cactorum

English IAEA/FAO-BSC/CM 92-0-108304-1
30.00 2004

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Alien invasive insect pests are increasingly threatening agriculture and the environment. In the context of rapidly growing international travel and trade, the potential for moving dangerous pest species to new geographical regions and locations has been increasing. One such species is the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Pyralidae). As a result of worldwide increases in opuntia cultivation and increased reliance on opuntia as a source of food, and on income from its products, the invasion by C. cactorum has a potential impact on thousands of subsistence farmers. Furthermore, C. cactorum is considered a serious threat to the high diversity of opuntia species in North America. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is the ideal tool to complement efforts to eliminate beachheads of alien insect invasions. An increased role is foreseen for the use of SIT in suppression of alien invasive species, which will help FAO and IAEA Member States deal with the threat of outbreaks of such pests.

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