New pest on Mallorca
On the island of Mallorca (ES) a new pest has been recorded causing serious damages on Pelargonium. The pest was identified as Cacyreus marshalli Butler, 1898 (Lycaenidae: Polyommatinae) originating from South Africa where it is widespread on Geraniaceae. The butterfly was detected at the end of 1989 and has since affected 99% of the pelargoniums on Mallorca.
Damage is primarily due to the feeding activities of the larvae on the flowers of the plant; feeding on leaves is only of minor importance.
Chemical control has proved to be difficult because the larvae enter and live within the plant. However, the pest is most susceptible to control measures during the egg stage when masses of yellow eggs can be seen on leaves and flowers.
According to the authors the butterfly represents a serious threat to the Pelargonium production of the other Balearic Islands as well as the whole Mediterranean area.
Sarto i Monteys, V.,; Maso, A. (1991) Confirmacion de Cacyreus marshalli Butler, 1898 (Lycaenidae: Polyommatinae) como nueva especie para la fauna europea.
Boletin de Sanidad Vegetal Plagas 17, 173-183.