Invasive Cactus Moth Monitoring at Grand Bay NERR

Stewardship staff at the Grand Bay NERR continue to monitor for the invasive cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum.  The NERR began monitoring in 2005 in an effort to track the cactus moth’s path and to prevent it from moving into Texas and Mexico where very large cacti populations exist.  The moth lays its eggs in the native prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.) where the larvae will then consume the cactus from the inside out, killing the plant.  The prickly pear cactus provides a food source and cover for many different types of wildlife including deer and the native cactus moth Lepidoptera.  Though the moth has been identified on Dauphin Island, the Mississippi barrier islands and Louisiana, we have yet to find any signs of the species at the NERR.

 

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  • We’re looking for volunteers for fall 2019!
    August 23, 2019

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