First finding of Paysandisia archon in France
In 2001, in the south of France near Hyères (region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), an unusual pest has been identified in nurseries where dying palm trees were observed. INRA identified the insect as Paysandisia archon (Castnia archon – Lepidoptera: Castniidae) which originates from South America. This is the first report of this insect in France. It is suspected that P. archon was introduced from Argentina, as larvae hidden in the stipes of palm trees. The available bibliography did not mention particular damage caused by this insect in its area of origin. However in France, nursery growers and professionals responsible for city parks and gardens are particularly concerned about the damage this insect may cause to palm trees. Measures are being taken to control the pest. Studies are also being carried out on the biology and control of P. archon.
NPPO of France, 2002-02.