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Sustainable control of the horse chestnut leaf miner, Cameraria ohridella (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae), a new invasive pest of Aesculus hippocastanum in Europe

The horse chestnut leaf-miner (Cameraria ohridella) is a member of the lepidopteran family Gracillariidae and was recorded for the first time in Macedonia in 1985 attacking horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) near Lake Ohrid. This moth was described as a new species of the genus Cameraria by Deschka and Dimic (1986). Totally unexpected, C. ohridella appeared in Austria in 1989 in the region of Linz. From then on, it rapidly spread east and west so that, by 2000, it had colonised major parts of Central and Eastern Europe.

This is a multidisciplinary project aimed at the control of the horse chestnut leaf miner, Cameraria ohridella, a moth of unknown origin, which has spread recently over vast areas of Europe. CONTROCOM proposes to assess the present and potential future impact of the moth on horse-chestnut trees, both in urban areas in Europe and in natural forests in the Balkans. It will then investigate the potential of different environmentally safe and sustainable control methods including pheromone-based monitoring and control, biological control, and cultural methods. The epidemiology and dispersal of the moth will be studied. Finally, the project aims to develop and disseminate the basic structures of an integrated pest management (IPM) system for C. ohridella that will also be applicable across all affected areas of Europe, and to use the project as a generic model for developing sound approaches to the study and control of exotic invasive pests in Europe.

1) According to plant physiological investigations the damage caused to the trees by C. ohridella is less dramatic than the conspicuous leaf damage would suggest. It could be shown that the tree growth is not reduced.
2) The synthetic sex pheromone of C. ohridella used in pheromone sticky traps proved an excellent method to locate new areas where C. ohridella started to establish. The method for monitoring population dynamics of C. ohridella is now standardised and established.
3) Usually two species of chalcidoids were dominating. However, during the project not a single case was found where these parasitoids caused higher rates of mortality in Cameraria populations. This indicates that there is still a long way to go to find an adaptation of natural enemies.
4) The spread rate of C.ohridella is between 50 and 100 kms per year. There is an obvious association between the size of cities and the flow of vehicles, trains, trucks, and possibly also trade of nursery stocks, which may transport adults or infected leaf fragments over long distances.


Scientist responsible for the project

Am Hochanger 13
85354 Freising
Germany - DE

Phone: +49 8161 714596
Fax: +49 8161 714598


Project ID QLRT-1999-31684
Organisation Technische Universitaet München Department of Applied Zoology
Area 5.3.1
Start date 01 January 2001
Duration (months) 48
Total cost 1 767 562 €
Total EC contribution   1 166 015 €
Status Completed
Web address of the project

The partners

  • Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (UOCHB), Czech Republic (The) - CZ
  • Technological Educational Institution of Kavala (TEI of Kavala) Department of Forestry, Greece - GR

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