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Datasheet

Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Plutella xylostella
  • Preferred Common Name
  • diamondback moth
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • The diamondback moth (DBM) is one of the most studied insect pests in the world, yet it is among the 'leaders' of the most difficult pests to control. It was the first crop insect reported to develop...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); adult at rest in the field. Michigan, USA.
TitleAdult
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); adult at rest in the field. Michigan, USA.
Copyright©David Cappaert/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); adult at rest in the field. Michigan, USA.
AdultPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); adult at rest in the field. Michigan, USA.©David Cappaert/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); adult resting. Laboratory image. Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA.
TitleAdult
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); adult resting. Laboratory image. Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA.
Copyright©Mark Dreiling/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); adult resting. Laboratory image. Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA.
AdultPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); adult resting. Laboratory image. Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA.©Mark Dreiling/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva, full grown. Laboratory image. Michigan, USA.
TitleLarva
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva, full grown. Laboratory image. Michigan, USA.
Copyright©David Cappaert/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva, full grown. Laboratory image. Michigan, USA.
LarvaPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva, full grown. Laboratory image. Michigan, USA.©David Cappaert/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva - intercepted on Erysimum (wallflower) from Germany at Atlanta International Airport, Plant Protection & Quarantine. Georgia, USA.
TitleLarva
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva - intercepted on Erysimum (wallflower) from Germany at Atlanta International Airport, Plant Protection & Quarantine. Georgia, USA.
Copyright©Charles Olsen/USDA APHIS PPQ/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva - intercepted on Erysimum (wallflower) from Germany at Atlanta International Airport, Plant Protection & Quarantine. Georgia, USA.
LarvaPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva - intercepted on Erysimum (wallflower) from Germany at Atlanta International Airport, Plant Protection & Quarantine. Georgia, USA.©Charles Olsen/USDA APHIS PPQ/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva, close anterior view - intercepted on Erysimum (wallflower) from Germany at Atlanta International Airport, Plant Protection & Quarantine. Georgia, USA.
TitleLarva
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva, close anterior view - intercepted on Erysimum (wallflower) from Germany at Atlanta International Airport, Plant Protection & Quarantine. Georgia, USA.
Copyright©Charles Olsen/USDA APHIS PPQ/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva, close anterior view - intercepted on Erysimum (wallflower) from Germany at Atlanta International Airport, Plant Protection & Quarantine. Georgia, USA.
LarvaPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva, close anterior view - intercepted on Erysimum (wallflower) from Germany at Atlanta International Airport, Plant Protection & Quarantine. Georgia, USA.©Charles Olsen/USDA APHIS PPQ/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); field collected pupa - note loosely woven cocoon. Indonesia.
TitlePupa
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); field collected pupa - note loosely woven cocoon. Indonesia.
Copyright©Merle Shepard, Gerald R.Carner & P.A.C Ooi/Insects and their Natural Enemies Associated with Vegetables and Soybean in Southeast Asia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); field collected pupa - note loosely woven cocoon. Indonesia.
PupaPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); field collected pupa - note loosely woven cocoon. Indonesia.©Merle Shepard, Gerald R.Carner & P.A.C Ooi/Insects and their Natural Enemies Associated with Vegetables and Soybean in Southeast Asia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); field collected pupa - note polymorphism. USA
TitlePupae
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); field collected pupa - note polymorphism. USA
Copyright©Alton N. Sparks Jr/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); field collected pupa - note polymorphism. USA
PupaePlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); field collected pupa - note polymorphism. USA©Alton N. Sparks Jr/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larval damage in the field - host plant, cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata).
TitleLarval damage
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larval damage in the field - host plant, cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata).
Copyright©Alton N. Sparks Jr/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larval damage in the field - host plant, cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata).
Larval damagePlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larval damage in the field - host plant, cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata).©Alton N. Sparks Jr/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larval damage in the field - host plant, cabbage collards and kale (Brassica oleracea L.)
TitleLarval damage
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larval damage in the field - host plant, cabbage collards and kale (Brassica oleracea L.)
Copyright©Alton N. Sparks Jr/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larval damage in the field - host plant, cabbage collards and kale (Brassica oleracea L.)
Larval damagePlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larval damage in the field - host plant, cabbage collards and kale (Brassica oleracea L.)©Alton N. Sparks Jr/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva and damage on cabbage in a field crop. USA.
TitleLarval damage
CaptionPlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva and damage on cabbage in a field crop. USA.
Copyright©Whitney Cranshaw/Colorado State University/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva and damage on cabbage in a field crop. USA.
Larval damagePlutella xylostella (diamondback moth); larva and damage on cabbage in a field crop. USA.©Whitney Cranshaw/Colorado State University/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Adult (museum set specimen).
TitleAdult
CaptionAdult (museum set specimen).
Copyright©Georg Goergen/IITA Insect Museum, Cotonou, Benin
Adult (museum set specimen).
AdultAdult (museum set specimen).©Georg Goergen/IITA Insect Museum, Cotonou, Benin

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Plutella xylostella Linnaeus

Preferred Common Name

  • diamondback moth

Other Scientific Names

  • Cerastoma maculipennis Curtis, 1832
  • Cerastoma xylostella Wood, 1839
  • Cerostoma xylostella Linnaeus
  • Harpipteryx xylostella
  • Phalaena Tinea xylostella Linnaeus, 1758
  • Phalaena xylostella Linnaeus
  • Plodia maculipennis (Curtis)
  • Plutella brassicola Fitch, 1856
  • Plutella cruciferarum Zeller
  • Plutella limbipennella Clemens, 1860
  • Plutella maculata Curtis
  • Plutella maculipennis (Curtis)
  • Tinea galeatella Mabille, 1888

International Common Names

  • English: cabbage moth; European honeysuckle leafroller
  • Spanish: gusano de las hojas de la col; oruga verde de la col; oruga verde del repollo; palomilla dorso de diamante; palomilla dorso de diamante (Mexico); palomita de las coles (Argentina); polilla del repollo
  • French: fausse-teigne des crucifères; teigne des cruciferes; teigne du chou; teigne du colza

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: traca das cruciferas
  • China: syau tsai e
  • Denmark: kalmoel
  • Finland: kaalikoi
  • Germany: Gemuese-Motte; Kohl-Schabe; Schleier-Motte
  • Israel: ash hakruv
  • Italy: Tignola dei cavoli
  • Japan: Konaga
  • Malaysia: rama rama intan; ulat Plutella
  • Netherlands: Koolmotje
  • Norway: kalmoll
  • Sweden: kalmal
  • Thailand: norn yai
  • Turkey: lahana guvesi

English acronym

  • DBM

EPPO code

  • PLUTMA (Plutella xylostella)

Summary of Invasiveness

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The diamondback moth (DBM) is one of the most studied insect pests in the world, yet it is among the 'leaders' of the most difficult pests to control. It was the first crop insect reported to develop resistance to DDT and microbial Bacillus thuringiensis insecticides, and has shown resistance to almost every insecticide, including the most recent groups such as diamide. DBM is a highly invasive species. It may have its origin in Europe, South Africa or East Asia, but is now present wherever its cruciferous hosts exist and is considered to be the most universally distributed Lepidoptera. It is highly migratory and wind-borne adults can travel long distances to invade crops in other regions, countries and continents. Immature stages also hitchhike on plant parts and can establish in new areas. DBM costs the global economy an estimated US$4 -5 billion annually, but its impacts on local biodiversity and habitats in exotic ranges are unknown. 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Plutellidae
  •                             Subfamily: Plutellinae
  •                                 Genus: Plutella
  •                                     Species: Plutella xylostella

Description

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Adult

The adult is greyish brown with a 9-mm-long body and a wingspan of about 12-15 mm (Anonymous, 1983; Reid and Cuthbert, 1971). In males, upper (costal) two-thirds of forewings is light fuscous, sometimes partially ochre-tinged; sometimes mixed with whitish scales, and flecked with scanty small blackish dots. Lower one-third of the forewings is ochreous-white, the upper edge being nearly white, margined broadly with dark brown or black-brown. In females, the upper two-thirds of forewing is light ochreous or light grey-ochreous, the contrast not so pronounced between upper and lower portions in coloration, but the markings are like those of males. When wings are folded, three or four diamond-shaped areas formed by forewings are visible on the dorsal side when moth is at rest, hence the common name 'diamondback moth'. Moriuti (1986) gives details of wing venation and genitalia. The moths are weak fliers and can disperse, on average, only 13-35 m within a crop field (Mo JianHua et al., 2003). They are readily carried by the wind and can travel long distances, at 400-500 km per night (Chapman et al., 2002).

Egg

Eggs are 0.44 x 0.26 mm, oval and flattened, and yellow or pale green. They are deposited singly or in small groups of 2-10 eggs on foliage surfaces (Hardy, 1938; Talekar et al., 1994) or on other plant parts (Sarfraz et al., 2005a).

Larva

A fully-grown larva is 10 mm long. Head capsule is pale to pale greenish or pale brown, mottled with brownish and black-brown spots. Eye spot is black. Body is green, sometimes tinged with pale yellow with distinct body segments, and bears a few short hairs, marked by the presence of small white patches. The larva has five pairs of prolegs; a pair of prolegs protrudes from the posterior end forming a distinctive 'V' shape. Moriuti (1986) gives details of other morphological characters such as spiracles, legs, mouthparts and chaetotaxy.

The larva, when disturbed, curls and wriggles backward violently and may drop off the plant, where it can hang suspended on a silken thread (Sarfraz et al., 2009b). The sex of the moth can be visually distinguished from the third-instar larva onwards. In males the 5th segment is distinctly yellow, such coloration is not found in the female larva (Liu and Tabashnik, 1997).

Pupa

Pupa is 5-6 mm, about four times as long as the width. It is covered with a white, loose, silken cocoon. Sometime pupation may take place without a silken cocoon (e.g. when larvae are fed on an unusual food plant). The 'naked' pupae fall off the plants and their survival is generally very low. Initially pupa is pinkish-white to pinkish-yellow with subdorsal and subspiracular lines. Pupal colour changes to brown before adult emergence. Tenth abdominal segment has hooked setae.

Distribution

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The diamondback moth may have its origin in Europe (Hardy, 1938) but on the basis of the large complex and sexual forms of its parasitoids and host plants found in South Africa, Kfir (1998) speculated that it originated in South Africa and then dispersed to Europe. Using similar arguments, Liu et al. (2000) are of the view that diamondback moth originated in East Asia. North American populations of diamondback moth are most probably of European origin (Hardy, 1983).

This crucifer specialist is now present wherever its host plants exist and is considered to be the most universally distributed of all Lepidoptera (Shelton, 2004). Its infestation level varies from year to year and location to location depending on factors such as environmental conditions, natural enemies, overwintering populations and migrations. Vast migrant swarms have been recorded, for example, in the UK in June 2016 (NorfolkMoths.co.uk).

Widespread distribution of P. xylostella has been observed in British Columbia (R Sarfraz, 2014, personal observation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada).  

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanPresentCIE, 1967
ArmeniaPresentCIE, 1967
AzerbaijanPresentCIE, 1967
BangladeshWidespreadKarim, 1994
Brunei DarussalamPresentCIE, 1967
CambodiaWidespreadCIE, 1967
ChinaWidespreadCIE, 1967
-AnhuiPresentHan et al., 2001
-BeijingPresentSong et al., 2009
-FujianPresentWang MaoMing, 2006
-GuangdongWidespreadCIE, 1967
-GuangxiPresentLong et al., 2006
-HainanPresentZhao et al., 2006
-HebeiPresentWang et al., 2008
-HenanPresentYang et al., 2000
-Hong KongPresentCIE, 1967
-HubeiPresentCIE, 1967
-HunanPresentXiang et al., 2001
-JiangsuWidespreadCIE, 1967
-Nei MengguPresentCIE, 1967
-ShandongPresentCIE, 1967
-ShanghaiPresentYuan et al., 2000
-ShanxiPresentZhao et al., 2001
-SichuanPresentHe et al., 2005
-YunnanPresentCIE, 1967
-ZhejiangWidespreadZAU, 1995
Georgia (Republic of)PresentCIE, 1967
IndiaWidespreadCIE, 1967
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentCIE, 1967
-Andhra PradeshPresentCIE, 1967
-Arunachal PradeshPresentCIE, 1967
-AssamPresentCIE, 1967
-BiharPresentCIE, 1967
-ChandigarhPresentCIE, 1967
-Dadra and Nagar HaveliPresentCIE, 1967
-DamanPresentCIE, 1967
-DelhiPresentCIE, 1967
-DiuPresentCIE, 1967
-GoaPresentCIE, 1967
-GujaratPresentCIE, 1967
-HaryanaPresentCIE, 1967
-Himachal PradeshPresentCIE, 1967
-Indian PunjabPresentCIE, 1967; Yasmin et al., 2012
-Jammu and KashmirPresentCIE, 1967
-JharkhandPresentRabindra et al., 2006
-KarnatakaPresentCIE, 1967
-KeralaPresentCIE, 1967
-LakshadweepPresentCIE, 1967
-Madhya PradeshPresentCIE, 1967
-MaharashtraPresentCIE, 1967
-ManipurPresentCIE, 1967
-MeghalayaPresentCIE, 1967
-MizoramPresentCIE, 1967
-NagalandPresentCIE, 1967
-OdishaPresentCIE, 1967
-RajasthanPresentCIE, 1967
-SikkimPresentCIE, 1967
-Tamil NaduPresentCIE, 1967
-TripuraPresentCIE, 1967
-Uttar PradeshPresentCIE, 1967
-UttarakhandPresentPathania and Rose, 2005
-West BengalPresentCIE, 1967
IndonesiaWidespreadCIE, 1967
-Irian JayaPresentSastrosiswojo and Sastrodihardjo, 1986
-JavaWidespreadSastrosiswojo and Sastrodihardjo, 1986
-KalimantanPresentSastrosiswojo and Sastrodihardjo, 1986
-MoluccasPresentSastrosiswojo and Sastrodihardjo, 1986
-SulawesiWidespreadSastrosiswojo and Sastrodihardjo, 1986
-SumatraWidespreadSastrosiswojo and Sastrodihardjo, 1986
IranWidespreadCIE, 1967; Golizadeh et al., 2008; Khanjani, 2009; AfiunizadehIsfahani and KarimzadehIsfahani, 2010; Fathi et al., 2011; Hasanshahi et al., 2013
IraqPresentCIE, 1967
IsraelPresentCIE, 1967
JapanWidespreadKoshihara, 1986
-HokkaidoPresentKoshihara, 1986; Nakao and Hashimoto, 1999
-HonshuWidespreadKoshihara, 1986
-KyushuWidespreadKoshihara, 1986
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoWidespreadKoshihara, 1986
-ShikokuWidespreadKoshihara, 1986
KazakhstanPresentCIE, 1967
Korea, DPRPresentCIE, 1967
Korea, Republic ofPresentCIE, 1967
KyrgyzstanPresentCIE, 1967
LaosPresentAVRDC, 1995
LebanonPresentCIE, 1967
MalaysiaWidespreadCIE, 1967
-Peninsular MalaysiaWidespread, ; Ooi, 1986; Syed, 1992
-SabahWidespreadOoi, 1986
-SarawakWidespreadOoi, 1986
MyanmarPresentCIE, 1967
NepalPresentCIE, 1967
PakistanWidespreadCIE, 1967
PhilippinesWidespreadCIE, 1967
Saudi ArabiaPresentCIE, 1967
SingaporeWidespreadCIE, 1967; Ng et al., 1997; AVA, 2001
Sri LankaWidespread,
SyriaPresentCIE, 1967
TaiwanWidespreadAVRDC, 1974
TajikistanPresentCIE, 1967
ThailandWidespreadCIE, 1967
TurkeyPresentCIE, 1967
TurkmenistanPresentCIE, 1967
UzbekistanPresentCIE, 1967
VietnamWidespreadCIE, 1967; Trinh, 1997
YemenPresentCIE, 1967

Africa

AlgeriaPresentCIE, 1967
AngolaPresentCIE, 1967
BeninPresentBordat and Goudegnon, 1997
BotswanaPresentObopile et al., 2008
CameroonPresentCIE, 1967
Cape VerdeWidespreadVan and Harten Miranda, 1985
CongoPresentCIE, 1967
EgyptWidespreadCIE, 1967
EthiopiaPresentCIE, 1967; Aysheshim et al., 1996
GambiaPresentCIE, 1967
GhanaPresentCIE, 1967
KenyaPresentCIE, 1967; Kibata, 1997; Oduor et al., 1997
LibyaPresentCIE, 1967
MadagascarPresentCIE, 1967
MalawiPresentCIE, 1967
MaliPresentCIE, 1967
MauritiusPresent, ; CIE, 1967
MoroccoPresentCIE, 1967
MozambiquePresentJavaid et al., 2000
NigeriaPresentUmeh et al., 2009
RéunionPresentPichon et al., 2004
Saint HelenaPresentCIE, 1967
SenegalPresentCIE, 1967
SeychellesPresentCIE, 1967
South AfricaWidespread, ; CIE, 1967
SudanPresentCIE, 1967
TanzaniaPresentCIE, 1967
TunisiaPresentCIE, 1967
UgandaPresentCIE, 1967
ZambiaPresentCIE, 1967
ZimbabwePresentCIE, 1967

North America

BermudaPresentCIE, 1967
CanadaWidespreadCIE, 1967
-AlbertaWidespreadSarfraz et al., 2010
-ManitobaWidespreadCanola Council of Canada, 2014
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentSquires et al., 2009
-OntarioWidespreadHarcourt, 1986
-SaskatchewanWidespreadCanola Council of Canada, 2014
GreenlandPresentCIE, 1967
MexicoPresentCIE, 1967
USAWidespreadCIE, 1967
-AlabamaPresentCIE, 1967
-ArizonaPresentCIE, 1967
-ArkansasPresentCIE, 1967
-CaliforniaPresentCIE, 1967
-ColoradoPresentCIE, 1967
-ConnecticutPresentCIE, 1967
-DelawarePresentCIE, 1967
-FloridaWidespreadLeibee and Savage, 1992
-GeorgiaWidespread,
-HawaiiPresentTabashnik et al., 1990
-IdahoPresentCIE, 1967
-IllinoisPresentCIE, 1967
-IndianaPresentCIE, 1967
-IowaPresentCIE, 1967
-KansasPresentCIE, 1967
-KentuckyPresentCIE, 1967
-LouisianaPresentCIE, 1967
-MainePresentCIE, 1967
-MarylandPresentCIE, 1967
-MassachusettsPresentCIE, 1967
-MichiganPresentCIE, 1967
-MinnesotaPresentCIE, 1967
-MississippiPresentCIE, 1967
-MissouriPresentCIE, 1967
-MontanaPresentCIE, 1967
-New HampshirePresentCIE, 1967
-New JerseyPresentCIE, 1967
-New MexicoPresentCIE, 1967
-New YorkWidespreadShelton and Wyman, 1992
-North CarolinaPresentCIE, 1967
-North DakotaPresentCIE, 1967
-OhioPresentCIE, 1967
-OklahomaPresentCIE, 1967
-OregonPresentCIE, 1967
-PennsylvaniaPresentCIE, 1967
-Rhode IslandPresentCIE, 1967
-South CarolinaPresentCIE, 1967
-South DakotaPresentCIE, 1967
-TennesseePresentCIE, 1967
-TexasWidespreadPlapp et al., 1992
-UtahPresentCIE, 1967
-VirginiaPresentCIE, 1967
-WashingtonPresentCIE, 1967
-WisconsinPresentCIE, 1967
-WyomingPresentCIE, 1967

Central America and Caribbean

AnguillaPresentCIE, 1967
Antigua and BarbudaPresentCIE, 1967
ArubaPresentCIE, 1967
BahamasPresentCIE, 1967
BarbadosPresentCIE, 1967
BelizePresentCIE, 1967
British Virgin IslandsPresentCIE, 1967
Costa RicaWidespreadCIE, 1967
CubaWidespreadCIE, 1967
DominicaWidespreadCIE, 1967
Dominican RepublicWidespreadCIE, 1967
El SalvadorWidespreadCIE, 1967
GrenadaPresentCIE, 1967
GuadeloupePresentCIE, 1967
GuatemalaWidespread,
HaitiPresentCIE, 1967
HondurasPresentAndrews et al., 1992
JamaicaWidespreadCIE, 1967
MartiniquePresentCIE, 1967
MontserratPresentCIE, 1967
Netherlands AntillesPresentCIE, 1967
NicaraguaPresentCIE, 1967
Puerto RicoPresentCIE, 1967
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentCIE, 1967
Saint LuciaPresentCIE, 1967
Trinidad and TobagoPresentCIE, 1967
United States Virgin IslandsPresentCIE, 1967

South America

ArgentinaPresentSalinas, 1986
BoliviaPresentCIE, 1967
BrazilWidespreadSalinas, 1986
-BahiaPresentSalinas, 1986
-CearaPresentBranco et al., 2003
-GoiasPresentCzepak et al., 2005
-Mato GrossoPresentBranco et al., 2003
-Minas GeraisPresentSalinas, 1986
-PernambucoPresentSilva-Torres et al., 2010
-Rio de JaneiroPresentSalinas, 1986
ChilePresentSalinas, 1986
ColombiaPresentSalinas, 1986
ParaguayPresentCIE, 1967
PeruPresentSalinas, 1986
UruguayPresentCIE, 1967
VenezuelaWidespreadSalinas, 1986

Europe

AlbaniaPresentSalinas, 1986
AustriaPresentCIE, 1967
BelarusPresentSidlyarevich and Lameko, 2000
BelgiumPresentCIE, 1967
BulgariaPresentCIE, 1967
CyprusPresentCIE, 1967
Czech RepublicPresentCIE, 1967
DenmarkPresentCIE, 1967
Faroe IslandsPresentCIE, 1967
FinlandPresentCIE, 1967
FrancePresentCIE, 1967; Crepin and Trouve, 1997
GermanyPresentCIE, 1967
GreecePresentCIE, 1967
HungaryPresentCIE, 1967
IcelandPresentCIE, 1967
IrelandPresentCIE, 1967
ItalyPresentCIE, 1967
LatviaPresentZarinysh, 2002
MaltaPresentCIE, 1967
NetherlandsPresentCIE, 1967
NorwayPresentCIE, 1967
PolandPresentCIE, 1967
PortugalPresentCIE, 1967
-AzoresPresentCIE, 1967
RomaniaWidespreadMostata, 1992
Russian FederationWidespreadCIE, 1967
-Central RussiaPresentCIE, 1967
-Russia (Europe)PresentCIE, 1967
-Russian Far EastPresentCIE, 1967
-SiberiaPresentCIE, 1967
SloveniaPresentPajmon, 1999
SpainPresentCIE, 1967
SwedenPresentCIE, 1967
SwitzerlandPresentCIE, 1967
UKPresentCIE, 1967
UkrainePresentCIE, 1967
Yugoslavia (former)PresentCIE, 1967

Oceania

AustraliaWidespreadCIE, 1967
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentCIE, 1967
-New South WalesPresentCIE, 1967
-QueenslandPresentCIE, 1967
-South AustraliaPresentCIE, 1967
-TasmaniaPresentCIE, 1967
-VictoriaPresentCIE, 1967
-Western AustraliaPresentCIE, 1967
FijiPresentCIE, 1967
GuamPresentMuniappan et al., 2004
New CaledoniaPresentCIE, 1967
New ZealandWidespreadBeck and Cameron, 1992
Norfolk IslandPresentCIE, 1967
Papua New GuineaWidespreadCIE, 1967
SamoaPresentCIE, 1967
Solomon IslandsPresentCIE, 1967
TongaPresentCIE, 1967

Risk of Introduction

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P. xylostella has an extensive global distribution. Though some countries in Africa and northern South America are not included in the geographical distribution maps, the pest may well be present in these countries. Further, long-distance migrations of this insect in air currents (Talekar and Shelton, 1993; Chapman et al., 2002) could carry it to DBM-free countries.

Immature stages of P. xylostella could disperse via seedling transplants (Shelton and Wyman, 1992), crop residues (Chua and Lim, 1977) and through transnational trade of cruciferous vegetables (Tan and Lim, 1985). However, P. xylostella does not pose a serious phytosanitary risk. Close inspection of crucifer vegetables (leaves, stems, flowers, green pods) passing through international trade can, at best, postpone the inevitable entry of the pest.

A greater concern is the movement of resistant individuals between countries, which could have serious implications on the control of the pest. Wei et al. (2013) studied the population genetic structure and demographic history in 27 geographical populations of P. xylostella across China using four mitochondrial genes and nine microsatellite loci. No genetic differentiation among all populations and no correlation between genetic and geographical distance were found. On the basis of pairwise analysis of the mitochondrial genes, gene flow analysis, neutrality testing, mismatch distribution and Bayesian Skyline Plot analyses, the authors concluded that P. xlostella migrates within China from South to North with rare effective migration in the reverse direction. Mountains may serve as a barrier to migrations and gene flow (Niu et al., 2014).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Protected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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The natural host plant range of P. xylostella is limited to Brassicaceae which are characterized by having glucosinolates, sulfur-containing secondary plant compounds. Glucosinolates may be toxic to generalist insects, but DBM is known to rely on some of them for host location, oviposition and herbivory. Certain glucosinolates, cardenolides, plant volatiles, waxes, as well as host plant nutritional quality, leaf morphology and leaf colour, or a combination of these factors, may trigger reproductive and feeding activities of DBM (Sarfraz et al., 2006 and references therein).

Cruciferous weeds serve as alternate hosts (Sarfraz et al., 2011). For instance, the wind-borne moths can arrive in parts of the oilseed rape growing areas in Canada from the southern USA early enough that many of the rape crops will not have emerged yet (Canola Ccouncil of Canada, 2014). In these situations cruciferous weeds become important alternate 'bridge' hosts.

Some populations have also been found to infest non-cruciferous plants (see List of Hosts). However, host plant shift from feeding on crucifers to feeding on non-crucifers may depend on geographical populations. For example, a Kenyan population of P. xylostella adapted to sugar snap peas (Löhr and Gathu, 2002) whereas a Canadian population, despite of multiple attempts, could not survive on peas in the laboratory (Sarfraz, unpublished data).

For further information on hosts, see Sarfraz et al. (2006, 2010, 2011) and references therein, and Sakakibara and Takashino (2004).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Abelmoschus esculentus (okra)MalvaceaeOther
Arabidopsis thalianaBrassicaceaeWild host
Armoracia rusticana (horseradish)BrassicaceaeMain
BrassicaBrassicaceaeMain
Brassica juncea var. juncea (Indian mustard)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica napus var. napus (rape)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica nigra (black mustard)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica oleracea (cabbages, cauliflowers)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica oleracea var. botrytis (cauliflower)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica oleracea var. capitata (cabbage)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera (Brussels sprouts)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes (kohlrabi)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica oleracea var. italica (broccoli)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica oleracea var. viridis (collards)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica rapa cultivar group CaixinBrassicaceaeMain
Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis (Chinese cabbage)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensisBrassicaceaeMain
Brassica rapa subsp. rapa (turnip)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassicaceae (cruciferous crops)BrassicaceaeMain
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse)BrassicaceaeWild host
Cleome rutidosperma (fringed spiderflower)CapparaceaeOther
Descurainia sophia (flixweed)BrassicaceaeWild host
Erysimum cheiranthoides (Treacle mustard)BrassicaceaeWild host
Lactuca sativa (lettuce)AsteraceaeOther
Nasturtium officinale (watercress)BrassicaceaeMain
Pisum sativum (pea)FabaceaeOther
Raphanus raphanistrum (wild radish)BrassicaceaeWild host
Raphanus sativus (radish)BrassicaceaeMain
Sinapis alba (white mustard)BrassicaceaeMain
Sinapis arvensis (wild mustard)Wild host
Sisymbrium altissimum (Tall rocket)BrassicaceaeWild host
Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)BrassicaceaeWild host

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

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The insect larva is a surface feeder and with its chewing mouthparts it feeds voraciously on the leaves leaving a papery epidermis intact. This type of damage gives the appearance of transluscent windows or 'shot holes' in the leaf blades. Insect larvae and, in many cases, pupae are found on the damaged leaves. In cases of severe infestation, entire leaves could be lost, leaving only the veins. The larvae nibble the chlorophyll-rich green areas of stems and pods and the damage shows from a distance as an unusual whitening of the crop. The damage is often first evident on plants growing on ridges and knolls in the field (Canola Council of Canada, 2014). Heavily damaged plants appear stunted and in most cases die.

In oilseed rape plants, larvae also feed on flower buds, flowers and young seed pods. The seeds within damaged pods do not fill completely and pods may shatter prematurely. Larvae also chew into pods and consume the developing seeds. Extensive feeding on the reproductive plant parts significantly reduces crop yields (Canola Council of Canada, 2014).

List of Symptoms/Signs

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Fruit

  • external feeding

Growing point

  • external feeding

Inflorescence

  • external feeding

Leaves

  • external feeding

Stems

  • external feeding

Biology and Ecology

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Egg

The small (0.44 x 0.26 mm) yellowish eggs can readily be seen in the field using a hand lens (Harcourt, 1961). The incubation period of P. xylostella eggs depends upon temperature. Harcourt (1957) reported it to be 4-8 days in Ontario, Canada, the average being 5.6 days, whereas in Malaysia, it averaged only 3 days (Ooi and Kelderman, 1979). Yamada and Kawasaki (1983) have determined the effective thermal total (degree-days) for the development of the egg to be 52 above 7.2°C (threshold temperature for egg development). The rate of hatching is negatively correlated with temperature (Yamada and Kawasaki, 1983).

Larva

There are four instars. The first instar normally mines in the leaf tissue. After the first instar, the larvae are surface feeders and eat voraciously. Fully grown caterpillars are green and 10-12 mm long (NSW Department of Agriculture, 1983).

The rate of development of larvae is temperature dependent. The length of larval stage was 15-21 days (first instar, 4.0-5.5; second instar, 3.5-4.5; third instar, 3.4-5.0; and fourth instar, 4.2-5.6) in Ontario (Harcourt, 1957), 10-30 days in New South Wales, Australia (NSW Department of Agriculture, 1983); but only 6 days in Malaysia (Ooi and Kelderman, 1979). In Yamada and Kawasaki's (1983) laboratory study, the larval period ranged from 7.8 to 19.5 days at the temperature range of 32.5-17.5°C. With a threshold temperature of 8.5°C, the effective thermal total (degree-days) for larval development is 161 (Yamada and Kawasaki, 1983). Liu et al. (1985) detected differences in developmental rate among field populations. They concluded this to be due to the differences in field environments such as climate, food source, etc. Thus differences among populations and temperature conditions should be taken into account while predicting build-up of populations of P. xylostella larvae and deciding the time of sampling. Idris (1998) and Sarfraz et al. (2007, 2011) reported that the developmental times of P. xylostella larvae were significantly affected by feeding on various cultivated and wild food plants. The nutritional quality of host plants also affects larval development times (Sarfraz et al., 2009b).

Pupa

The pupae are encased in loosely woven cocoons, often fastened to the plant parts (mostly leaves) and frequently hidden in crevices near the bud. Spinning of the cocoon by the fully-grown larvae is followed by 1 or 2 days of quiescence that marks the prepupal stage. The time from cocoon spinning to pupation is temperature dependent; maximum development being at 27.5°C (Yamada and Kawasaki, 1983). In Ontario, the prepupal stage varied from 7 to 10 days (Canada Department of Agriculture, 1976) and the pupal stage from 5 to 15 days with an average of 8.5 days (Harcourt, 1957), whereas in New South Wales, Australia the pupal stage is reported to be 1-2 weeks. In tropical countries such as Malaysia, the pupal period may be less than 4 days (Ooi and Kelderman, 1979). According to Yamada and Kawasaki (1983), the pupal period under laboratory conditions ranges from 3.9 to 9.6 days for a temperature range of 32.5-17.5°C.

The threshold temperature for pupal development is 9.8°C, the effective thermal total (day-degrees) for the pupal stage is calculated to be 61. The rate of adult emergence is 42-53.4% within the temperature range of 17.5-27.5°C. Above this temperature, emergence decreases (Yamada and Kawasaki, 1983).

Adult

The sex ratio is more or less 1:1. Mating begins at dusk on the day of emergence. Oviposition begins shortly after dusk and reaches its peak about 2 hours later; few eggs are laid after midnight. The average longevity of female and male is 16 and 12 days, respectively. Almost 95% of the females begin laying eggs on the day of emergence; this process lasts 10 days and the number of eggs laid per female ranges from 159 (Harcourt, 1957) to 288 (Ooi and Kelderman, 1979). Sivapragasam and Heong (1984) showed that temperature had a significant effect on adult survival, oviposition rates and generation and that the temperature most favourable for P. xylostella was around 30°C on the basis of the intrinsic rate of increase (rm). The relationship between temperature and longevity fitted a logistic equation whilst relationships of oviposition rate and rm with temperature fitted polynomial equations.

Generations

P. xylostella has a wide ecological tolerance, which enables it to reproduce under extremely varied climatic conditions. As its life history is influenced by temperature, the generation time varies accordingly (Chua and Lim, 1977). In warm conditions the life-cycle takes about 3 weeks although it may sometimes be as short as 16 days (NSW Department of Agriculture, 1983). In more temperate climates it may be extended up to 6 weeks (Canada Department of Agriculture, 1976) or more (Harcourt, 1957). Wu (1968) determined that one generation could be completed in 13-34 days at room temperature (23°C), 13-37 days in field conditions, and 17-20 days at a constant temperature of 23°C. Thus there could be as many as 19 generations of this pest per annum in the laboratory and 18 generations outside. However, in the field, 10-14 generations have been recorded in the tropics (Hardy, 1938Bonnemaison, 1965Abraham and Padmanaban, 1968; Koshihara and Yamada, 1981) but only four generations in cold places such as Ottawa, Canada (Harcourt, 1957).

Harcourt (1954) calculated that one generation of P. xylostella required 283 degree-days in the laboratory above a threshold of 7.3°C, whereas Bahar et al. (2014) reported 143 degree-days above a threshold of 4.23°C. Similar results (293 degree-days) were also obtained under field conditions (Butts and McEwen, 1981). Umeya and Yamada (1973) detected slight local differences in development characteristics such as threshold temperature (ranging from 7.4 to 9.5°C) but concluded that these differences were related neither to the geographical location nor to the climatic gradient.

Seasonality

P. xylostella breeds all the year round in the tropics but it is reported to hibernate in the adult stage in colder regions (Harcourt, 1954; Razumov, 1970), although these reports are not yet corroborated by others. In places of extremely low temperature where the moth cannot even hibernate (such as parts of Canada), annual infestations arise from adult migration from nearby warmer regions in the spring (Harcourt, 1961; Putnam, 1978Butts and McEwen, 1981). Seasonal abundance of P. xylostella in any given year depends on two major factors: overwintering populations in the USA and southern spring winds to transport the moths north into Manitoba, central Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta (Canola Council of Canada, 2014), and in eastern Ontario (Harcourt and Cass, 1966).

Many reports describe the seasonal abundance of diamondback moth in relation to different climatic conditions (Harcourt, 1957; Shaw, 1959; Wu, 1968; Iga, 1985). Although the moth breeds throughout the year in tropical conditions, the species, along with many other leaf-feeding insects, infests cruciferous crops such as Chinese cabbage or common cabbage during the cool and dry season. Heavy rain appears to be detrimental to infestation (Talekar and Lee, 1985). However, Yamada and Kawasaki (1983) reported that the rates of development (e.g. hatching, pupation, adult emergence) of P. xylostella were not affected by the level of humidity. Rainfall, along with other limiting factors (e.g. food scarcity, natural enemies), influences its population density as shown in life table and other ecological studies (Harcourt, 1963; Iga, 1985; Sivapragasam et al., 1988).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Notes on Natural Enemies

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All stages of P. xylostella are attacked by numerous parasites and predators. Among over 90 parasite species that attack P. xylostella, only about 60 of them appear to be important. Among these, six species attack eggs, 38 attack larvae, and 13 attack pupae (Lim, 1986). Egg parasites belonging to the polyphagous genera Trichogramma and Trichogrammatoidea contribute little to natural control and require frequent mass releases. Larval parasites are the most predominant and effective. Many of the effective larval parasites belong to two major genera, Diadegma and Cotesia; a few Diadromus spp., most of which are pupal parasites, also exert significant control. The majority of these species come from Europe where P. xylostella is believed to have originated (Sarfraz et al., 2005b, and references therein).

South and South-East Asia, the Pacific islands, Central America, the Caribbean and most of sub-Saharan Africa are most intensively plagued by P. xylostella because these areas lack effective larval parasites. This contrasts with countries in continental Europe and North America, which are endowed with many Diadegma, Cotesia and Diadromus species.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural dispersal (non-biotic)

It is well known that P. xylostella can disperse via air convection currents across national boundaries (List, 1937; French, 1967; Thygesen, 1968; Lempke, 1978; Bretherton, 1982). Migration of adults to eastern Scotland, UK, was seen from lighthouses and the source of migration was suggested as the west of the former Soviet Union (Shaw, 1962). French (1967) suggested that migratory movements of P. xylostella, which is related to synoptic weather could involve journeys of some 23,000 miles and continuous flight for several days. The species reportedly does not overwinter in Canada but is carried northwards each year from the USA by southerly winds (Anon., 1974). Hopkinson and Soroka (2010) demonstrated using an air trajectory model that high densities of P. xylostella on the Canadian prairies could be traced back to strong airflow from the southern USA. Similarly, on the basis of molecular analyses, Wei et al. (2013) concluded that P. xylostella populations migrate within China from the southern to northern regions with rare effective migration in the reverse direction.

It is also possible that the immature stages of this pest could be transported by wind by attaching itself to plant parts that are carried in the wind (Wu, 1968).

Agricultural Practices

P. xylostella immature stages could disperse themselves via transplants (seedlings). For example, cabbage seedlings imported from the southern states of the USA, Florida and Georgia, into the northern state of New York, were found to be infested with P. xylostella (Shelton and Wyman, 1992). Dispersal of pupae and other immature stages could occur through the movement of plant (leaves) residues left in the field or transported for disposal after harvest (Chua and Lim, 1977).

Movement in Trade

Transnational movement of P. xylostella through trade was reported in a study on imported cruciferous vegetables, cabbages, from Indonesia into Malaysia. The study revealed that P. xylostella larvae and adults were among the arthropods found within the cabbage heads (Tan and Lim, 1985).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop production Yes
Hitchhiker Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessions Yes
Containers and packaging - wood Yes
Land vehicles Yes
Mail Yes
Plants or parts of plantsEggs, larvae, pupae Yes Yes Shelton and Wyman, 1992
Soil, sand and gravel Yes
WindAdults Yes Yes Chapman et al., 2002

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Bark eggs; larvae No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx adults; eggs; larvae; pupae No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Fruits (inc. pods) eggs; larvae; pupae No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Growing medium accompanying plants eggs; pupae No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Leaves eggs; larvae; pupae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants eggs; larvae; pupae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches eggs; larvae; pupae No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
Roots
True seeds (inc. grain)
Wood

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Processed or treated wood
Solid wood packing material with bark
Solid wood packing material without bark

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Negative

Risk and Impact Factors

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Impact mechanisms

  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
  • Rapid growth

Impact outcomes

  • Altered trophic level
  • Host damage
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts cultural/traditional practices
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods

Invasiveness

  • Abundant in its native range
  • Fast growing
  • Has a broad native range
  • Has high genetic variability
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc

Likelihood of entry/control

  • Difficult/costly to control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally

Uses List

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General

  • Laboratory use
  • Research model

Detection and Inspection

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Colour: when disturbed, tiny adults fly from plant to plant. When at rest, three or four diamond-shaped areas formed by two forewings, are visible on the dorsal surface. Pale-green larvae with pale green to brown head capsules or brown pupae covered in white silken cocoons are present on plant parts damaged by P. xylostella.

Size: adult 10-12 mm long, fully-grown larva 10 mm long, pupa 5-6 mm long.

Behaviour: adults fly when disturbed. Larvae curl up when disturbed, or drop from the foliage to the ground.

Traps: adults are attracted to light traps. Adult males are attracted to sex pheromone which consists of three chemicals: (Z)-11-hexadecenal, (Z)-11-hexadecenyl acetate and (Z)-11-hexadecenyl alcohol (Chow et al., 1978). The yellow sticky traps can also be used to monitor populations in the field (Sivapragasam and Saito, 1986).

Food: Major host plants associated with the family Cruciferae with a few host plants in the family Capparidaceae (Idris, 1998; Tanaka et al., 1999).

Scouting Techniques in Oilseed rape

The count method, although often laborious, is currently the most accurate method of estimating P. xylostella population densities in oilseed rape. It involves performing counts of larvae in several locations throughout the field and determining the average population per unit area. Remove plants in an area of 0.1 m2, beat them onto a clean surface, and count the number of larvae dislodged from the plants. Scout at least five locations per field and monitor crops at least twice weekly (Canola Council of Canada, 2014).

The action threshold in Canadian oilseed rape crops is 20-30 larvae/0.1 m2 at the advanced pod stage. This works out to approximately two to three larvae/plant, given the plant population is about 100 plants/m2 (Canola Council of Canada, 2014).

Sweep net sampling and trapping (e.g. sticky, pheromone and bowl traps) can be used to detect the presence and general abundance of P. xylostella in the field, but these tools alone may not provide a reliable estimate of larval density. Nevertheless, high counts in sweep sampling and trapping can prompt growers to use the more accurate &apos;count method&apos; (Sarfraz et al., 2010; Canola Council of Canada, 2014).

In regions such as Canada where P. xylostella infestations are associated with annual migrations, pheromone traps coupled with wind trajectory models are useful tools to determine the size and timing of the moth flight.

Scouting Technique in Brassica Vegetables

In Brassica vegetable crops, the &apos;percent infested&apos; threshold scouting technique is more efficient in detecting damaging pest populations as it avoids the need to remove plants and count pests and is relatively easy for growers to use (Berry, 2000). This technique is successfully used to scout several other insect and mite pests in commercial crops.

Various types of traps (e.g. sticky, pheromone, pitfall and bowl traps) can also be used to detect the presence and relative abundance of P. xylostella in the field.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Certain other lepidopteran pests such as Crocidolomia binotalis, Hellula undalis, Trichoplusia ni, Pieris rapae, Spodoptera litura and S. exigua can attack crucifers at the same time as P. xylostella. With the exception of the first-instar stage, where most larval species are not morphologically distinguishable, the morphological characters of these insects at the later stages are distinctly different from those of Plutella. Except for Hellula, all other pests feed on leaves. Hellula larvae bore into the growing points of seedlings. These lepidopterans are nocturnal, except Pieris. However, tiny Plutella adults can be seen flying in the field even during daytime, especially when the plants are disturbed. Plutella damage can be distinguished from the damage caused by the other larvae by the presence of translucent &apos;windows&apos; caused by the DBM (see Symptoms).

Prevention and Control

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Introduction

At present, the mainstay of control in all tropical to subtropical developing countries (where small farms dominate vegetable production), is the frequent use of insecticides. In most of these countries, insecticides, all of which are imported from developed countries, are readily available at a reasonable cost. In some countries pesticides are subsidized. These factors lead to over-use and complete dependence on insecticides to control P. xylostella. In tropical countries where crucifers are grown throughout the year, P. xylostella can have up to 20 generations per year. This situation leads to the rapid build-up of insecticide resistance. To overcome resistance, farmers often increase doses of insecticide, use mixtures of several chemicals, and spray more often, sometimes once every 2 days. These high levels of use have caused P. xylostella to become resistant to practically all insecticides in many countries.

Cultural Control (Field Management)

Some of the classical control measures that have been tried with some success are intercropping, use of sprinkler irrigation, trap cropping, rotation and clean cultivation.

Intercropping

Though intercropping is a normal cultivation practice in the tropics it is not presently used for the management of P. xylostella, but rather for horticultural and economic reasons. The earliest successes occurred in Russia where intercropping cabbage with tomato reduced damage to cabbage by several pests (including P. xylostella) (Vostrikov, 1915). However, this practice had only limited success in India (Chelliah and Srinivasan, 1986), the Philippines (Magallona, 1986) and Taiwan (AVRDC, 1987). In Taiwan none of the 54 crops tested for their usefulness in intercropping had any significant impact on the population of P. xylostella on cabbage.

Trials carried out in India showed that planting one row of late season cauliflower with one row of main season tomato significantly reduced the incidence of P. xylostella when the cauliflower was planted 30 days after tomato (Kandoria et al., 1999). Studies on the effects of intraplot mixtures of toxic (genetically engineered with Bacillus thuringiensis) and non-toxic collard (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) plants on the population dynamics of P. xylostella and its natural enemies suggested that intrafield mixtures could decrease the density of a target pest such as the diamondback moth, while not adversely affecting natural enemies (Riggin Bucci and Gould, 1997).

Sprinkler irrigation

Except for the first instar, all P. xylostella larvae and pupae are exposed on the leaf surface and are influenced by various abiotic factors. Several reports indicate that rainfall is an important mortality factor for P. xylostella (Gray, 1915; Harcourt, 1963; Talekar and Lee, 1985) and thus this pest is serious only during the dry season. Overhead irrigation has been shown to reduce P. xylostella injury to cabbage (Talekar et al., 1986) and watercress (Nakahara et al., 1986). The water droplets are believed to drown or physically dislodge the pest from the plant surface, causing a reduction in their numbers. This operation at dusk also reduced mating-related flight activity and presumably oviposition. Using sprinkler irrigation to control this pest in crops other than watercress, however, is not practical on a commercial farm because of the high cost and probable increase of diseases such as black rot and downy mildew.

Trap cropping

Before the advent of modern organic insecticides, a common practice was to plant strips of an economically less important plant highly preferred by P. xylostella within a commercial crucifer field. The preferred crops, primarily white mustard (Brassica hirta) or Indian mustard (B. juncea) attracted P. xylostella adults, which spared the commercial crop such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and others from its attack (Kanervo, 1932Ghesquiere, 1939). Now, because of insecticide resistance problems, trap cropping is becoming a more realistic alternative, especially in developing countries. In India when one row of mustard was alternated with 15-20 rows of cabbage, P. xylostella colonized the mustard and spared the main crop (Srinivasan and Krishna Moorthy, 1992). In order to trap most P. xylostella adults in a field, healthy growing mustard in the vegetative stage must be available throughout the cabbage-growing period. This technique also spares cabbage from attack by Crocidolomia binotalis. Studies in Malaysia (Sivapragasam and Loke, 1997), Hawaii (Luther et al., 1996) and South Africa (Charleston and Kfir, 2000) also suggested that Indian mustard showed potential as a trap crop for P. xylostella. However, Indian mustard may not provide specific advantages to cabbage cultivation if the economics of cultivating the former is considered (Sivapragasam and Loke, 1997; Subrahmanyam, 1998). Conflicting results for Indian mustard were obtained in Indonesia (Omoy et al., 1995; Prabanungrum and Sastrosiswojo, 1995).

Crucifers with a glossy phylloplane are not only attractive for P. xylostella oviposition, but the glossy trait also negatively affects survival and development suggesting that selected glossy cultivars have potential usefulness as trap crops in Brassica vegetable fields. Glossy yellow rocket (Barbarea vulgaris var. arcuata) is a potential candidate for dead-end trap cropping. P. xylostella ovipositional preference was much greater on glossy yellow rocket than on cabbage and oilseed rape but larvae failed to survive on it (Shelton and Nault, 2004). This discovery initiated new interest in trap cropping but there remain questions to be addressed (e.g. competition with the main crop, placement method in the field, weed seed bank in soils, etc.) before yellow rocket could be recommended for extensive field use (Sarfraz et al., 2006).

Rotation and clean cultivation

Crop rotation is rarely practised for control of P. xylostella in intensive vegetable-growing areas of the tropics and subtropics because of the high prices that crucifer vegetables fetch. However, because continuous planting of crucifers allows continuous generations of the pest, which leads to frequent use of insecticides and development of pesticide resistance, crop rotation may become necessary. If crop rotation is followed by all farmers in a locality simultaneously, it will lead to a crucifer-free period that disrupts the pest&apos;s breeding cycle and may help control the pest in the crop following the rotation crop.

Clean cultivation can be an important factor in the management of P. xylostella. Planting seedling beds away from production fields, and ploughing down crop residues in seedling beds and production fields, are efficient and easy management practices. Where seedlings are grown in the greenhouse, prevention of infestations by immigrating adults can be accomplished through the use of insect-proof screens.

Tests to determine how undersowing Brassica crops with subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) affected host-plant selection by some pests including P. xylostella indicated that in all cases, 40-90% fewer insect pest stages were found on plants in clover than on those in bare soil (Kienegger et al., 1996). Field experiments comparing two different undersown crops, strawberry clover (Trifolium fragiferum cv. Palestine) and spurrey (Spergula arvensis), revealed that populations of P. xylostella larvae were not as high as in monocropped plots (Theunissen et al., 1996) but the quality of cabbages from the undersown plots was much better. Spurrey is interesting because it is able to suppress pest populations, notably larvae of P. xylostella and thrips, but it could be difficult to integrate in existing cropping practices (Theunissen et al., 1996).

Host-Plant Resistance

Two types of resistance, normal-bloom cabbage and glossy-leaf cabbage, have been identified by American scientists (Dickson et al., 1990). Hybrid lines of cabbage and cauliflower bred from these resistance sources showing good level of resistance to P. xylostella are available. However, because of the thick leaves in the normal-bloom type and dark green glossy leaves in other lines, these hybrids have not been popular with consumers and thus they are not yet exploited commercially. Factors inducing resistance vary. Ganeshan and Narayanasamy (1997) suggested that high contents of protein, orthodihydroxy phenols and low quantities of sugar (reducing and non-reducing) were factors for resistance in three cauliflower lines, whereas Ramachandran et al. (1998) suggested differing leaf characteristics.

Brassicaceous species differ in their resistance as hosts for P. xylostella. Females preferred to lay eggs on Sinapis alba and Brassica rapa, but development times of larvae and pupae were most rapid on B. juncea and S. alba (Sarfraz et al., 2007). Development was also influenced by varieties within species. Although survival did not vary for P. xylostella reared from egg to pupa on the B. napus varieties Q2, Liberty and Conquest, females deposited more eggs on Liberty than on Q2 or Conquest. Development of females from larva to prepupa was faster on Liberty and Conquest than on Q2 (Sarfraz et al., 2007).

Host-plant resistance work also revolves around incorporating one or more novel pesticide genes into oilseed rape and Brassica vegetables. Transgenic canola carrying the cry1Ac gene was developed and tested for P. xylostella control in field and glasshouse trials in the USA (Ramachandran et al., 1998) but no such transgenic crops are registered yet. There is increasing interest in getting this type of resistance registered in Australia (Canola Council of Canada, 2014). Bt-cabbage and Bt-cauliflower plants were also developed and tested against P. xylostella, but due to regulatory and liability issues the transgenic vegetables were not field released and the project ceased in 2010 (Russell et al., 2011).

Sex Pheromone

A sex pheromone consisting of three chemical components: (Z)-11-hexadecenal, (Z)-11-hexadecenyl acetate, and (Z)-11-hexadecenyl alcohol is now available commercially. This pheromone attracts male adults and suitable traps are used to kill the moths attracted to the pheromone. Extensive studies have already determined the optimal proportion and leading of the pheromone components, effective distance and longevity (Chisholm et al., 1983, Chow et al., 1978, Lee et al., 1995) in order to use the pheromone more effectively. This pheromone has been used for monitoring P. xylostella populations in the field (Baker et al., 1982). During the past 5 years, Japanese scientists have succeeded in achieving mating disruption in cabbage fields using high concentrations of the pheromone (Ohno et al., 1992). A 1:1 mixture of (Z)-11-hexadecenal and (Z)-11-hexadecenyl acetate known as &apos;Konaga-Con&apos; is now commercially available in Japan. Collaborative multilocation studies in Japan have shown promising results (Ohbayashi et al., 1992), but &apos;Konaga-Con&apos; use is still not cost effective. Experiments to evaluate the efficacy of a blend of pheromones to disrupt mating of diamondback moth and cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) when dispensed simultaneously from Yoto-con-S R &apos;rope&apos; dispensers showed some promise in suppressing numbers of P. xylostella larvae to below predetermined threshold levels (Mitchell et al., 1997).

Biological Control

This involves both classical biological control and the conservation of endemic natural enemies. In general, the former is emphasised because P. xylostella is an introduced pest in most countries. Introduction of exotic parasites to control pest insects has been practised for decades. This approach has considerable promise for the control of P. xylostella; however, it has been practised only sporadically over the past 50 years. Widespread and often indiscriminate use of insecticides has frustrated recent efforts and delayed the establishment of parasites and their beneficial effects.

In one of the earliest parasite introductions, Diadegma semiclausum and Diadromus collaris were introduced in New Zealand from England (Hardy, 1938, Thomas and Ferguson, 1989). These introductions continue to suppress P. xylostella populations until now, and the challenge today is to incorporate this natural control into a commercial IPM.

In Australia, prior to the introduction of effective exotic parasites, P. xylostella caused serious damage (Wilson, 1960). Among the introduced parasitoids, D. semiclausum became established throughout Australia, including Tasmania. Diadromus collaris was established principally in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania and Cotesia plutellae in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Queensland. These introductions resulted in heavy parasitism of C. plutellae (72-90%) and marked reduction in damage to crucifers (Wilson, 1960; Goodwin, 1979; Hamilton, 1979).

In the early 1950s, D. semiclausum was introduced from New Zealand into Indonesia&apos;s crucifer-growing areas in the highlands of Java (Vos, 1953) where it became established. However, because of over-use of insecticides, the beneficial effects of this parasite in the control of P. xylostella in the field were not realized until the mid-1980s (Sastrosiswojo and Sastrodihardjo, 1986). With substitution of chemical pesticides by Bacillus thuringiensis in the early 1980s, the parasite proliferated. This parasite has now been introduced from Java to the highlands of other islands in Indonesia.

In the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia, where crucifers are grown throughout the year, P. xylostella was a serious pest. However in 1977-78, Malaysian entomologists introduced D. semiclausum, and D. collaris. Although these parasites became established soon after introduction it was not until the late 1980s when chemical insecticides were substituted by B. thuringiensis that the impact of these parasitoids was fully realized. The combined parasitism has drastically reduced the need for insecticide applications and since then areas of cabbage production are increasing (Ooi, 1992).

In Taiwan, P. xylostella has been a serious pest since 1960s. Cotesia plutellae, reported to parasitize P. xylostella since 1972, could not give adequate control, so D. semiclausum was imported from Indonesia. This parasite failed to get established in lowlands but in highlands it was established within the same season (AVRDC, 1988). This cool-temperature parasite now occurs throughout the highland areas of Central Taiwan and provides substantial savings in P. xylostella control. Studies indicated a temperature range of 20-30°C is optimum for parasitization by C. plutellae and 15-25°C for D. semiclausum (Talekar and Yang, 1991). Parasitism by D. semiclausum drops rapidly at temperatures approaching 30°C.

In the Philippines, a single release of D. semiclausum in 1989 at the beginning of the season resulted in 64% parasitisation of P. xylostella, and an 80-90% drop in pesticide use (Poelking, 1992). Ofelia (1997) reported that the establishment of D. semiclausum in cabbage achieved economical effective control of P. xylostella providing substantial savings for farmers per hectare in a cropping season. In discussing natural enemies, the important role of predators in the management of P. xylostella should also be emphasised as has been suggested in various studies based on population dynamics and the indirect effects of insecticides (Nemato, 1985; Sivapragasam et al., 1988).

There has been significant recent interest in the use of insect pathogens such as Beauveria bassiana (Ma Jun et al., 1999; Yoon et al., 1999; Shelton et al., 1998), Metarhizium anisopliae (Amiri et al., 1999), Zoopthora radicans (Furlong and Pell, 1997), baculoviruses (Kadir et al., 1999; Kariuki and McIntosh, 1999) and entomopathogenic nematodes (Yang et al., 1999; Baur et al., 1998) as potential biological control agents of P. xylostella. One of the major limiting factors in the use of entomopathogens in the management of P. xylostella is the efficiency of their delivery systems and studies have been undertaken to try and improve this aspect to enable fuller exploitation of these natural enemies (Asokan, 1999; Ebert et al., 1999; Mason et al., 1999; Wright and Mason, 1997). Environmental factors are also important for the effectiveness of these pathogens (e.g. Z. radicans, Furlong and Pell, 1997a), as is their integration with other control measures such as sex pheromones (Furlong and Pell, 1997b). Scientists at IITA, Benin, have successfully developed and field tested the use of a biopesticide based on B. bassiana in cabbage farms in West Africa (IITA, 2009).

Chemical Control

Because P. xylostella larvae feed on cruciferous vegetables, which usually have high cosmetic standards, effective control is necessary. Historically, the mainstay of control has been the use of synthetic insecticides. General use patterns of insecticides vary widely over geographic locations and decades. The driving forces behind these changing patterns are the development of new, more effective insecticides and lost usefulness of older chemicals because of resistance. The most dramatic patterns have occurred in South-East Asia where P. xylostella is especially serious. The best example of the rapid change in use patterns is illustrated by Rushtapakornchai and Vattanatangum (1996), who compiled a list of screening results in Thailand from 1965 to 1984. A dominant product like mevinphos provided excellent control in 1965, fair control in 1974, and poor control in 1984. In 1976, permethrin was introduced and provided excellent control in the Central region, but provided only fair control 2 years later. In the early 1980s, insect growth regulators were introduced. Growth regulators, like triflumuron, provided good control in 1982 but poor control by 1984. Bacillus thuringiensis was introduced in early 1970s and provided fair-to-good control when first introduced. Because of lack of effective control when used alone, B. thuringiensis has been used primarily in IPM programmes that use thresholds and conserve natural enemies.

Similar patterns have also been documented in other parts of the world such as Taiwan (Sun, 1992), Japan (Hama, 1992), Malaysia (Syed, 1992), USA (Leibee and Savage, 1992, Magaro and Edelson, 1990, Plapp et al., 1992) Costa Rica (Carazo et al., 1999; Cartin et al., 1999), Central America (Andrews et al., 1992), Chile (Rosa et al., 1997), New Zealand (Cameron and Walker, 1998), India (Raju, 1996) and South Australia (Baker and Kovaliski, 1999). Because of the magnitude of the P. xylostella problem and the worldwide importance of cruciferous vegetables, new potential control agents such as genetically improved strains of B. thuringiensis, neem, macrocyclic lactones, baculoviruses and fungi are being tested. However, as with all previously used methods, the long-term effectiveness of these agents remains to be seen.

P. xylostella is among the &apos;leaders&apos; of the most difficult pests to control. It was the first crop insect reported to be resistant to DDT (Ankersmit, 1953). It was the first insect to develop resistance in the field to the bacterial insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis (Kirsch and Schmutterer, 1988; Tabashnik et al., 1990). Now it has shown resistance to almost every insecticide applied in the field (Sarfraz and Keddie, 2005; Ridland and Endersby, 2011) including new insecticide groups such as diamide (Gong et al., 2014). This clearly points to the need for the development and implementation of comprehensive insecticide resistance management (IRM) programmes to conserve efficacy of viable insecticides.

An IRM programme, sponsored by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) has been implemented in the Hawaiian Archipelago, to conserve spinosad, as insect populations developed resistance following continuous exposure. With the help of growers and extension workers, spinosad was banned and replaced with rotations of emamectin benzoate and indoxacarb until pest populations recovered susceptibility (Mau and Gusukuma-Minuto, 2004). In Australia, a national insecticide rotation programme for IRM on cruciferous crops includes six different mode-of-action (MoA) chemical classes, including three new diamide insecticides (Baker, 2011). The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Canada have also been developing a voluntary IRM programme based on IRAC-MoA classification scheme.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

For the past 30 years, farmers have depended almost exclusively on insecticides to control P. xylostella, but resistance to presently available insecticides and lack of new insecticides has stimulated research on alternative control measures. In some cases, these alternatives are essentially the same ones that were discarded in favour of synthetic insecticides. Since parasites play such an important role in checking P. xylostella population growth, introduction and conservation of parasites will be basic to any sustainable IPM programme. To implement IPM, farmers must coordinate their efforts because the practices of one farmer influence those of his or her neighbour. This applies to the development of IRM or the introduction and conservation of natural enemies. Such coordination will be most needed in small-scale agriculture where farms are often smaller than 0.1 ha and where many farms in an area are owned by different growers. An example of a successful coordinated effort was the establishment of D. semiclausum in the highlands of Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines and the use of B. thuringiensis (Ooi and Lim, 1989; Poelking, 1992; Sastrosiswojo and Sastrodihardjo, 1986; Talekar, 1992). An IPM programme funded by the Asian Development Bank covers 10 countries in South and South-East Asia where, if not already present, D. semiclausum was introduced in the highlands and C. plutellae in the lowlands (Loke et al., 1997; Eusebio and Rejesus, 1997). One of the most successful IPM programmes is the one developed in the Bajio region of Mexico where about 15,000 crucifers are grown annually. This programme was initiated in 1987 after a complete control failure of P. xylostella despite an average of nine applications of synthetic insecticides. The present IPM programme relies on scouting thresholds, crucifer-free periods and the judicious use of B. thuringiensis, and has resulted in over 50% fewer insecticide sprays (Talekar and Shelton, 1993).

In Jamaica, plant resistance complemented with B. thuringiensis was found to be suitable for IPM of cabbage looper, T. ni, and P. xylostella (Ivey and Johnson, 1998). In Singapore, Ng et al. (1997) used the following IPM strategies: physical exclusion of the moth using protected structures with translucent netting; monitoring of larval and adult moth populations using scouting and trapping methods to assess economic threshold limits for spraying; the reduction of pest populations below economic thresholds using the selective, parasite-safe biopesticide, B. thuringiensis; quick suppression of economically damaging pest populations with an effective chemical insecticide; and biological control of pest populations with the larval parasite Cotesia plutellae. In the Philippines, C. plutellae was used as the core component of an IPM strategy supplemented with microbial insecticide B. thuringiensis subsp. aizawai, Bta, based on an economic threshold level of 2 larvae/plant at 1-4 weeks after transplanting and 5 larvae/plant at 5-10 weeks after transplanting. This strategy was superior to Farmers&apos; Control Practice (FCP) for control of the diamondback moth on cabbage in the field. The level of control in the FCP-managed field, sprayed 4-8 times with the pyrethroid insecticide, fenvalerate, was very low. Yield increase in the IPM-managed field was 48% greater than in the FCP field and 123% greater than in the untreated control, resulting in a net income 87% higher than from the FCP (Morallo Rejesus et al., 1996). Encouraging results were also obtained by Eusebio and Rejesus (1997) under the KASAKALIKASAN or National IPM Program. Verkerk and Wright (1996) suggested that a multitrophic approach to research may assist in the development of more sustainable methods for the management of P. xylostella, and overcome some of the problems inherent in insecticide-intensive methods. Roush (1997) proposed that radically different approaches should be considered for the management of P. xylostella and its resistance including mandatory crucifer-free periods, area-wide insecticide rotation programmes, the avoidance of pesticide mixtures and Bt spray formulations containing multiple toxins, the avoidance of persistent insecticide formulations, registration of insecticides that show low toxicity to natural enemies (e.g. spinosads) (Naish et al., 1997), the development of novel control tactics such as pheromone disruption, and the use of transgenic plants with multiple toxins &apos;pyramided&apos; within the same variety. He suggested that pyramided plants with effective toxin expression, coupled with small refuge of non-transgenic plants, could be the most effective resistance strategy.

In areas where other pests besides P. xylostella are important, one must consider their management as well. For example, Crocidolomia binotalis is a major pest of crucifers in the highland of Indonesia, and presently marketed strains of B. thuringiensis are not effective against it. Growers who have used synthetic insecticides routinely against C. binotalis have caused occasional flare-ups of P. xylostella because of insecticide-induced mortality of D. semiclausum (Sastrosiswojo and Setiawati, 1992). Promotion of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) as a trap crop to control C. binotalis will help considerably in further reduction in insecticide use. The recently proposed Plutella/Crocidolomia management programme for cabbage has been successful in Indonesia (Shepard and Schellhorn, 1997).

Because of the magnitude of control failures of P. xylostella, as well as pressure to reduce insecticide inputs in small- and large-scale agriculture, both systems must be open to alternatives to broad-spectrum insecticides. Traditionally, such ideas as trap cropping, adult trapping, and pheromone disruption were considered more amenable to small-scale agriculture, but this is no longer true. Researchers in India have demonstrated the benefits of using Indian mustard trap crop to attract P. xylostella and C. binotalis away from principal crops (Srinivasan and Krishna Moorthy, 1992), thus reducing the need for insecticides to a maximum of two sprays compared with 10 or more per season for conventional control methods. A team of Thai and Japanese scientists has demonstrated the utility of yellow sticky traps to capture P. xylostella adults, thereby reducing their oviposition and subsequent damage by larvae (Rushtapakornchai et al., 1992). Combining mustard trap cropping and yellow sticky traps may reduce the need for insecticides even more. In Japan, field tests of mating disruption by pheromones, population of P. xylostella have been reduced by 95% compared with control fields (Ohano et al., 1992).

In addition to the ubiquitous use neem (Azadirachta indica) extracts against P. xylostella (Williams et al., 1996; Moorthy et al., 1998), extracts of other plants such as Azadirachta excelsa (Sivapragasam et al., 2000), yam (Dioscorea hispida) (Banaag et al., 1996), nutgrass (Cyperusrotundus) (Dadang, 1996) and Aglaia roxburghiana (Molleyres et al., 1999) also exhibit significant insecticidal and/or antifeedant activity. Extracts of the tropical herb Andrographis paniculata also exhibited antifeedant and anti-oviposition activity against the larvae (Hermawan et al., 1997). In addition to these biological methods, current efforts to develop transgenic plants (Cai et al., 1999; Xiang et al., 2000), which confer mortality to B. thuringiensis resistant P. xylostella, sterile insect technique using partial or inherited sterility (Omar and Jusoh, 1997), and inoculation of plants with the endophyte Acremonium alternatum, which causes high mortality and affects larval physiology (Dugassa et al., 1998), may also be useful in IPM programmes.

The concept of sampling populations and treating when thresholds are exceeded is fundamental to IPM and has been promoted in developed countries and in many developing countries of the tropics. The adoption of this strategy has been hindered because it requires regular scouting by trained personnel who may not be available. A few advances have been made in this area to ease decision making. Okadome (1997) suggested a simulation model for forecasting population fluctuations of P. xylostella. A forecasting system based on temperature and the number of moths caught using a pheromone trap has been developed for spring-planted cabbage in Hokkaido, Japan (Nakao and Hashimoto, 1999). A sequential sampling plan for sample sizes was developed by Chua and Sivapragasam (1997) to improve IPM decision making. Jusoh (1997) suggested a Plutella equivalent action threshold to cater for the complexity of pests included in the decision process for crucifers. This is an important development as previous thresholds were very much focused on P. xylostella, which is contrary to the field situation where farmers growing crucifers have to make decisions based on a range of pests. In developing countries, the adoption of IPM is also hindered because many farmers cannot differentiate between pests and beneficials, some farmers have difficulty in counting because of illiteracy, and resistance to multiple insecticides make most insecticide applications useless. Thus, in the tropics and subtropics, community-wide management most probably relies primarily on the release and establishment of as many parasites as possible combined with cultural practices. IPM programmes for P. xylostella have been effectively implemented in a number of South-East Asian countries through researchers-extensionists-farmers cooperative activities as exemplified by the farmer participatory action research (PAR) activities in Farmer Field Schools (FFS)(Lim et al., 1997; Ooi, 1997).

Developing and Implementing a Successful IPM Programme in Cruciferous Crops

In three regions of New Zealand, P. xylostella resistance to synthetic insecticides was found to be associated with control failures in cruciferous vegetables. Scientists at Crop & Food Research initiated an IPM development and implementation programme. In just 2 years, the uptake of IPM by the local growers was interesting: 80% producers were using IPM and 96% were scouting their crops to gauge the level of pest infestation (Walker et al., 2013).

The following are important steps to developing and implementing successful IPM programmes elsewhere (adapted from Walker et al. (2013) with some modifications):

1.Refine action thresholds for cruciferous crops to match with the local conditions.

Carry out research to define (and redefine) an infestation level at which insecticide application is economical and provide an efficient crop scouting method to detect damaging populations. The use of action thresholds and crop scouting in crucifers reduced pesticide sprays by an average of 60% while improving crop quality (Beck et al., 1992).

2.Develop an early-warning system in regions where populations are attributed to seasonal migrations.

In Canada, a wind trajectory-modelling system is now implemented annually during the growing season, which integrates a network of sentinel sites with pheromone traps. It provides an early-warning system and advance notice to the stakeholders for the potential arrival of pest populations into canola production areas (Canola Council of Canada, 2014).

3. Develop an IRM program and insecticide rotation scheme using IRAC-MoA framework.

A national IRM programme should focus on effective pest management while minimizing insecticide use and avoiding or delaying onset of resistance. The implementation of such a programme requires regional and national support for an agreed strategy while success requires the participation of a high proportion of growers.

4.Train crop managers and extension advisors on insect identification and crop scouting.

Train crop managers and commercial scouts in the necessary steps to identify pests, scout and monitor pest populations and natural enemies, and select and rotate preferred insecticides according to the IRM programme. Also provide them information backed with research on appropriate plant varieties, soil fertilization, habitat modification and other crop management tools.

5. Monitor insecticide resistance in pest populations and make changes accordingly.

Continuous checking and monitoring is needed to detect resistance levels in pest populations in the field and to conserve the efficacy of selective insecticides.

6. Evaluate the success and uptake level of IPM programme.

Quantify and illustrate the benefits of an IPM programme in terms of use of scouting, insecticide rotation and reduced sprays. The benefits can be measured from scouting reports and audits by determining the frequency of sprays, insecticide rotation strategies, degree of insecticide resistance and the quality of produce, and by conducting surveys.

 

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09/12/14 Review by:

Rana M. Sarfraz, Department of Zoology, Biodiversity Research Centre, The University of British Columbia, 4200-6270 University Blvd., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z4

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