Box Tree Moth Cydalima perspectalis as a Threat to the Native Populations of Buxus colchica in Republic of Georgia
An invasive phytophagous insect, the Cydalima perspectalis (Walker, 1859) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), new to the fauna of the region of the Caucasus Mountains, was detected in boxwood plantations of various species in the region of Krasnodar Krai. In 2013, larvae of the moth caused lethal damage to artificial plantations of boxwood in the Greater Sochi area and Novorossiysk area in southern Russia. In summer and autumn 2015, 48 and 13 boxwood study sites respectively in the natural Buxus colchica (Pojark) forests were examined in six regions (out of nine) in the Republic of Georgia. The substantial damage caused by C. perspectalis feeding on boxwood leaves in native boxwood forests was discovered in four different regions in the western part of the Republic of Georgia: Imereti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Guria and Autonomous Republic of Adjara. Today, the box tree moth is known to occur at several locations in the Black Sea coastal region of the Caucasus Mountains. This paper provides the first well documented record of C. perspectalis in the Caucasus region.
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