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UF-IFAS Pest Alert: Olive Shootworm, by Hayden (FDACS-DPI) and Buss (UF)

olive_shootworm01

Palpita persimilis, adult habitus. Scale = 1 cm. Photograph by James E. Hayden.

Palpita persimilis Munroe (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) is a defoliator of olives and privet in South America (Gomez 1999; Chiaradia and Da Croce 2008). Examination of specimens submitted to UF-IFAS and FDACS-DPI prompted the discovery that the species has been established in Florida for many years, having been confused with two similar native species. The confusion parallels historical misidentifications in Peru (Gomez 1999). To date, all vouchered specimens in Florida with host information were found feeding on leaves of Ligustrum japonicum Thunb. (Japanese privet).

Authors: James E. Hayden, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, and Lyle J. Buss, University of Florida.

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/fruit/olive_shootworm.htm

Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman (gillett@ufl.edu ) is the editor of UF-IFAS Featured Creatures publications and submitted content for this UF-IFAS Pest Alert.