Butterfly Moth from France

Subject: Butterfly moth
Location: Peyriac-Minervois, France
September 4, 2013 1:22 pm
We found in our courtyard in Peyriac-Minervois, France, what seems to be a Butterfly Moth. A second one arrived a few hours later. They were very inactive on the ground. The first one disappeared after 48 hours. The second is barely alive after 4 days. We had the impression that the ”French” are monitoring them as they seem to be considered rare pests, although we don’t know why.
Photographs are attached. The ruler shown is in inches.
We should be very interested to know what trouble they cause.
Signature: Roger and Linda

Butterfly Moth
Butterfly Moth

Dear Roger and Linda,
We agree that this is the introduced Butterfly Moth,
Paysandisia archon, which is native to South America.  According to the Palms.org website:  “At the beginning of summer 2001, INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) in Antibes (France) was alerted by people from the Department of Var that they had a lot of palm trees severely damaged by a “white grub,” and some palms had even died. It was the starting point for an official report of a new exotic moth introduced accidentally into France. This beautiful insect – the largest introduced accidentally into Europe – is indeed a serious pest for a great number of palm species.”  

Butterfly Moth
Butterfly Moth

Dear Daniel,
Thank you very much for your prompt and informative reply, which explains our moth’s lack of interest in our revival efforts, (sugar water, grapes and flowers!)
We are surrounded by vines and only a very few ornamental palms here.
Best wishes.
Roger and Linda

1 thought on “Butterfly Moth from France”

  1. A friend of ours spotted what seems to the Butterfly Moth recently in our garden (domaine Rives-Blanques, 11300 Cépie, France). It would explain why quite unexpectedly we have lost 3 palmtrees (out of 6) over the last 12 months.


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