Cydia interscindana (Möschler, 1866) has spread through several European countries in the past few years, becoming an invasive pest of ornamental trees. It was collected in Hungary for the first time in a pheromone trap set for Cydia pomonella (Linnaeus, 1758) in 2014. Here we discuss its recent distribution in Hungary based on intensive sampling between 2018 and 2020, which showed the dispersal of the pest by humans. Two formerly unknown host plants are also recorded. The damage caused by the larvae, the external morphology of the adult male, larva, pupa (described for the first time) and pupal exuviae are presented. We also analyse DNA barcodes, identifying this pest for the first time via DNA sequencing of immature stages.
Cydia interscindana is native in the Mediterranean region, where it was described by Möschler in 1866 from Andalusia. It is distributed in Mediterranean countries including Portugal (Corley 2004), Spain (Férriz et al. 2006), France (Lévêque et al. 2017) and Italy (Minelli 1995). Later the species was recorded in the British Isles (Knill-Jones 2020), Belgium (De Prins 2016), Switzerland (Swisslepteam 2010), Slovakia (Pastorális et al. 2018) and Russia (Caucasus; Schurov et al. 2017). In Hungary, Cydia interscindana adults were caught by a sticky delta pheromone trap (CSALOMON RAG type) for Cydia pomonella (Linnaeus 1758) in 2014 during a study on swarming dynamics of the latter pest in Budapest. This provided the first record of the species in the Carpathian basin (Szabóky 2014; Takács and Szabóky 2015).
In the Mediterranean region larvae feed on Juniperus oxycedrus (L.) (Miller 1990). In Belgium the larva was recorded on Juniperus spp. (Meert et al. 2019). J. oxycedrus is not native in Hungary, but Cupressus × leylandii A.B. Jacks. & Dallim 1926, Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco 1949 and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (A. Murray bis) Parl. 1864 are popular evergreens used as ornamental trees both in parks and gardens. In Hungary several pests of these plants have been recorded, all probably introduced with imported plants; in the literature, 11 Lepidoptera, nine Coleoptera and six Hemiptera species have been mentioned already (Csóka and Kovács 1999; Maráczi 2013; Bozsik et al. 2016; Schurov et al. 2017). However, until the end of the 2000s, only Scolytidae (Coleoptera) species caused serious damage (Bozsik and Szőcs 2017). In 2012, an outbreak of the formerly detected (Muskovits 2001) Lamprodila festiva (Linnaeus 1767) (Buprestidae) took place in Budapest (Németh 2012) causing serious damage on Platycladus orientalis and several ornamental gymnosperm species. This outbreak was certainly caused by introduced specimens, that had arrived with trees from the Mediterranean region where this beetle is a well-known pest (Merkl 2016), whose abundance in Hungary increases due to climatic change (Csóka et al. 2018). Based on the available data, in Hungary this beetle pest has also been blamed for all the damage caused on Cupressus, Platycladus and Chamaecyparis trees and management has been carried out only against them.
In 2018, a larva of L. festiva, an unidentified caterpillar and a freshly emerged specimen of Cydia interscindana were collected simultaneously from a Leyland cypress in Székesfehérvár (Central Hungary). In that year, similar Lepidoptera larvae were found in three neighbouring villages: Velence, Sukoró and Pákozd. To identify the sampled caterpillar, DNA analysis was undertaken. Additionally, in 2019–2020 a country-wide investigation was carried out to map the distribution and abundance of C. interscindana and gather data on bionomics of this pest in the Carpathian basin.