This is the first report of Bactra bactrana (Kennel, 1901) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) attacking a major solanaceous crop, sweet pepper Capsicum annuum L. The infestation was detected in two greenhouses at the area of Tympaki (Southern Crete, Greece). The moth larvae caused typical symptoms of a fruit borer with numerous small holes on the surface of the peppers and extensive damage on the inside of the fruit as a result of the feeding activity. Unknown factors facilitated this major shift in host range since B. bactrana is typically a stem borer of sedges. In addition, the pest status of B. bactrana is currently under question, as in both cases the infestations by the moth were associated with significant yield losses. B. bactrana was moderately controlled with chemicals registered for Lepidoptera management in sweet pepper due to the boring nature of the infestation. Some comparative taxonomic notes are provided to facilitate accurate pest discrimination of related Bactra species. Finally, biological attributes of the species are summarized and are discussed from pest control and ecological perspectives. Because Bactra species have been used in augmentative releases for the control of sage, the implications of our findings on the release of biocontrol agents are placed in perspective.
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Copyright © 2015 Cambridge University Press.
- Bactra bactrana
- Capsicum annuum
- fruit borer