The Cactus Moth in Texas: What does this mean for our prickly pear?

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The cactus moth (Cactoblastis cactorum) has been found and verified to occur in Texas since June 29, 2018. The cactus moth is an introduced, invasive organism that is native to Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil. Although the cactus moth has been used in biological control efforts in Australia and South Africa, the appearance and introduction of the moth has brought concerns about the impact of this non-native moth on United States native Opuntia, cacti that have modified stems called a cladophyll or a prickly pear pad. Native prickly pear plants in Texas are valuable to the aesthetics of the state, livestock industry and many species of native wildlife as sources of food, cover and the reproductive cycle. The cactus moth larvae consume large amounts of prickly pear pads, and can ultimately kill the plant. Prickly pear species are also part of the landscaping industry. If a prickly pear plant is found to be infected with the cactus moth larvae, what are the tools available to landowners, homeowners and habitat restoration efforts to stop or curtail the negative impacts of this non-native moth? Management tools and knowledge about the life cycle and introduction of the Cactoblastis cactorum will be the central focus of this webinar.


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Date and Time

April 2, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CST


Dr. Barron Rector
Associate Professor and Extension Range Specialist
Ecosystem Science and Management
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

TDA Credit