- Subfamily: Spilomelinae
- Wingspan: 40-45 mm
- Flight period: Apr - Aug
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Buxaceae
The Cydalima perspectalis is a moth of the Crambidae family, subfamily Spilomelinae, with a wingspan of 40-45 mm.
In Europe it is found in Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Russia. In Italy it is absent from the islands. *
Of East Asian origin (Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea). The first appearances take place in Germany where she appeared in 2007. In Italy the species was reported in Vicenza (Veneto) in 2010 (FEI, 2012) and, later, also in the province of Como (Lombardy) (Tantardini, Cavagna & Maspero, 2012), in Tuscany (CESPEVI, 2012) and in Emilia-Romagna (FEI, 2012).
The first case ascertained in Friuli Venezia Giulia refers to an infestation of boxwood plants, over 100 years old, detected on 9 July 2012.
A sighting was made by me on 29/09/2012 at the Villa Reale in Strà (VE).
Currently, the parasite's distribution area is still expanding and, despite the EPPO (European and Mediterranean Plant Protecion Organization) has immediately included it in the alert list, it is considered a non-quarantine pest whose eradication is practically impracticable.
The adult is a butterfly with a characteristic triangular shape. The wings have a white, almost transparent background, have a wide brown band running along the edges and are faintly iridescent. In the dark band of the fore wings a characteristic white spot stands out; a second white spot on average smaller it can sometimes be present in some specimens.
Melanistic adults have also been observed, with wings almost completely brown, with iridescent shades and two small white spots between the median area and the radial area. The adult abdomen is white, with a brown tip. **
The eggs are initially pale yellow, then, as they mature, show a small dark spot corresponding to the color of the head of the now formed larva. The larvae are yellow-green, with a characteristic pigmentation of the back and sides of the body and with a black head. At maturity the larvae reach 36 mm in length. The chrysalis is initially of a light green color, with brown pigmented areas and is about 20 mm long. **
The moth completes 2/3 generations a year and overwinters as a larva in a cocoon woven in autumn among the living leaves. The following year, with the arrival of spring temperatures, the larva completes its development and starts the first generation.
The larvae feed on Buxaceae in particular Buxus sempervirens and are considered a very harmful species.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** La piralide del bosso (Cydalima perspectalis) in Friuli Venezia Giulia - Gianluca Governatori Servizio fitosanitario e chimico - http://www.ortobotanicotrieste.it/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/La-piralide-del-bosso-in-FVG.pdf