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Classification and host plants
Genus: Opogona sacchari (Bojer)
Species: O. sacchari (Bojer)
“Phytopathology, agricultural entomology and applied biology” – M.Ferrari, E.Marcon, A.Menta; School edagricole - RCS Libri spa
Host plants: Ornamental plants.
Identification, damage and biological cycle
LOpogona is a Lepidopteran probably originating from the Circuma-African islands (Canaries, SantElena, etc.) widespread today throughout Africa (where it is a dangerous phytophagous of bananas), and in South America.
However, cases of infestation are also increasingly frequent in Europe, particularly on ornamental plants grown in greenhouses, thanks to the import of plant material from the aforementioned countries. In Italy, especially in greenhouses where it can also be established permanently, reports of attacks have been reported especially on the
Tronchetto of happiness (Dracaena sp.), On Sansevieria, on Kentia, on Chamaedorea, on Ficus, etc. Ladulto is a butterfly of about 20 mm wingspan with front wings of an ocher-colored ocher; the larva is grayish white in color, and measures approximately 30 mm when ripe.
The damage consists in the tunnels that the phytophagous larva digs in the stems, nibbling them intensely until they are emptied (very serious in the Tronchetti), or at the level of the collars of the host plants, with consequent collapse of the aerial part.
In some cases it can affect leaves (Ficus) or buds.
Opogona larva or ornamental moth - Opogona sacchari (Bojer) (photo www.forestryimages.org)
Opogona adult or ornamental moth - (photo A.van Frankenhuijzen www.forestryimages.org)
The chemical fight against this phytophagus is not very easy given the behavior of the larvae which, in many cases, live in the endophytic state inside the host organs, which are sometimes woody.
Good perspectives of control of the phytophagus come from biological control using the entomoparasitic nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae and Steinernema feltiae; they, distributed on the infested plants or on the collar, with dripping to the substrate, in conditions of high environmental humidity, go to the active search of the larvae of the phytophagus inside the infested organs. In case of attacks on the leaves or in any case on external plant tissues, Bacillus thuringiensis ssp can be used. kurstaki.