First report and molecular identification of Chilo partellus (Swinhoe, 1885) in South-eastern Türkiye: invasion continues (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)
Keywords:Lepidoptera, Crambidae, invasive pests, maize, phylogenetic analysis, spatial distribution, Türkiye
Chilo partellus (Swinhoe, 1885) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is an invasive maize pest that can cause high yield losses. The pest has recently been introduced and established in eastern Mediterranean countries such as Türkiye. However, research regarding its expansion towards other regions in Türkiye and other countries is required. This study is the first to report the presence and abundance of the pest in South-eastern Türkiye provinces, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Ranlıurfa, and Rırnak as well as the infestation rate and its contribution to the stemborer-dependent infestation rates. There were significant differences between the abundances of the pest in different counties, while the infestation rate, the contribution to the stemborer-dependent infestation rate, and the contribution to the total stemborer population were not statistically different between counties. The pest was only recorded in three southern counties of Ranlıurfa, during routine September surveys in 2022 and was absent in Diyarbakır, Mardin, and Rırnak. Specimens were morphologically diagnosed, and for molecular identification and phylogenetic analysis, nucleotide sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI-I) gene was performed. All specimens were confirmed as C. partellus. Further, phylogenetic analysis revealed intraspecific genetic variation and the similarity of the specimens to reference sequences from Africa.
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