Rare Pest

Pierre Zagatti zagatti at versailles.inra.fr
Sat Jun 17 07:54:01 EDT 2000

"Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX" wrote:

> I am getting cranial cramps trying to find some logic or at least some
> consistency and common sense in some of the legal stuff re. USDA/USFWS that
> I have been reading.  It seems that one government law makes B. acrocnema an
> endangered species to be protected while another makes it a plant pest that
> should presumably be extirpated to protect the plants. What's wrong with
> this picture ??  How should the average person on the street react to the
> next bug they encounter ?  Try to figure out if it is endangered and hence
> they should walk around it ? Or treat it as a plant pest and crush it with
> impunity ? So even if it were possible for a human being to be aware of all
> the laws on the books there still seems to be a challenge in application :-)
> :-)

There are examples of _rare pests_ i.e. insects with low population levels,
which may seriously damage cultivated plants or forest trees as well.

The best known is perhaps Dioryctria sylvestrella in SW France (Pyralidae
Phycitinae). The larva bores the trunks of maritime pine trees so that it plugs
the sap vessels. In other words one larva may kill a 30-years old tree.
Another example is given by the wonderful Eudocima materna in Martinique
(Noctuidae Ophiderinae). The adult moth bites fruits (esp. Citrus) with its
piercing proboscis. The hole in fruits is a gate opened for several fungi and
micro organisms which readily cause the loss of the fruits. One moth may "drink"
on tens of fruits during one night.
Just to have a look at the adults of this flying jewel (page still in
construction) :


INRA Unite de Phytopharmacie et Mediateurs Chimiques
78026 Versailles Cedex
Tel: (33) 1 30 83 31 18
e-mail zagatti at versailles.inra.fr

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