Dr. Barron Rector will give a lecture at noon Dec. 11 at the Lamar State University Academic Center. Dr. Rector is an Associate Professor and Extension Range Specialist in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M. The topic will be the “Texas Cactus Moth Detection & Monitoring Network.”

The cactus moth is an invasive species that likely will expand into coastal areas and barrier islands due to the many potential host species found in those ecosystems. Orange County is critical due to its location as the eastern most costal county in Texas and its shared border with a neighboring state. Dr. Rector will discuss this species, its history and the importance of Orange County participating in a sentinel survey using pheromone traps to attract and capture the moths for detection purposes.

The moth was originally found in Argentina and purposely introduced into Australia in the 1920s to control prickly pear. Due to its success in killing invasive prickly pear it was also introduced into Hawaii in 1950. During 1956, it was also introduced onto one of the Caribbean islands. The Florida Keys was invaded by the cactus moth in 1989 and since then it has been steadily moving along the Gulf Coast getting closer and closer to Texas.

Lamar State College-Orange and Texas AgriLife Extension-Orange County Office will host this seminar. The Orange County Master Gardeners will host a lunch of sandwiches, chips and drinks. Dr. Rector always provides fun and interesting lectures. The public is invited to attend along with students and Master Gardeners. This will be an interesting lecture for anyone with interests in native plants, insects, and the ecosystem. For more information, call the Texas AgriLife Extension office in Orange: 882-7010; or Lamar-Orange at 882-3933.

About Dr. Roy Stanford

Dr. Roy Stanford Jr. is the Orange County Extension agent for agriculture.