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.


Recent News

  • Sightings April 2019 – August 2019
    October 30, 2019

    April 2019 4/3- Large white tailed deer (2); Male painted bunting 4/12- Blue-gray gnat catcher 4/16- Glass lizard 4/19- Yellow colicroot 4/24- Rose orchid/pogonia; wild onion/garlic May 2019 5/1- Large bald eagle 5/7- Red-headed woodpecker 5/8- Gulf Coast box turtles (4) 5/16- Large white tailed deer 5/20- Baby box turtle […]

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

    It’s already gearing up to be a busy fall at the Grand Bay NERR. Earlier this summer we celebrated our 20th year as a Reserve with an open house for guests. To continue the celebration, our National Estuaries Day event will have even more fun for the family! In addition to our […]

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