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Scrobipalpa atriplicella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), an invasive insect attacking quinoa (Amaranthaceae) in North America

  • Boyd A. Mori (a1), Colin Dutcheshen (a2) and Tyler J. Wist (a1)

Quinoa, Chenopodium quinoa Willdenow (Amaranthaceae), cultivation has expanded beyond its historical range in South America into Europe and North America due to its high nutritional properties for human consumption. With the introduction of a crop into a novel range comes the potential for insect pest issues. Here, using traditional morphology and DNA barcoding we identify larvae of Scrobipalpa atriplicella (von Röslerstamm) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), an introduced Eurasian moth, feeding on quinoa throughout the Prairie region of western Canada. Larvae can feed within the stem, on foliage, and directly on seed within the panicles, which can result in up to a 100% yield loss. We summarise distinguishing adult characteristics, potential host plants, and give initial remarks on the life cycle of this moth and its known host range in Canada. The potential for high yield losses makes further investigation of S. atriplicella a priority to maintain and expand sustainable quinoa production in Canada.

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Subject editor: Jon Sweeney

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M.C. Bruno and W.T. Whitehead 2003. Chenopodium cultivation and formative period agriculture at Chiripa, Bolivia. Latin American Antiquity, 14: 339355.

P.D. Hebert , A. Cywinska , and S.L. Ball 2003. Biological identifications through DNA barcodes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 270: 313321.

A. Vega-Gálvez , M. Miranda , J. Vergara , E. Uribe , L. Puente , and E.A. Martínez 2010. Nutrition facts and functional potential of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd.), an ancient Andean grain: a review. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90: 25412547.

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The Canadian Entomologist
  • ISSN: 0008-347X
  • EISSN: 1918-3240
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-entomologist
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