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Subject: Lepidopteran pest of palms appears in the south of France
Date posted: April 01, 2002
Source: EPPO Reporting Service 1/02
In 2001, Paysandisia archon (formerly Castnia archon) was identified from dying palm trees in nurseries near the Hyeres region of France. This lepidopteran is native to South America (Argentina and Uruguay), and, in Europe, was previously reported from a single location in Spain in 2000. The host range of P. archon encompasses ornamental palm species, including Trachycarpus fortunei, Phoenix canariensis, and Butia yatay. Larvae seriously damage or kill their host by boring galleries within the palm's stipes, which probably allowed P. archon to escape detection during importation.