Epiphyas postvittana (light brown apple moth)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Plant Trade
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Epiphyas postvittana Walker
Preferred Common Name
- light brown apple moth
Other Scientific Names
- Archips postvittanus Walker
- Austrotortrix postvittana Walker
- Cacoecia postvittana Walker
- Teras postvittana Walker
- Tortrix postvittana Walker
International Common Names
- English: apple leafroller; Australian leafroller; light-brown apple moth
- French: pyrale brun pâle de la pomme
- TORTPO (Epiphyas postvittana)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
E. postvittana is a small, bell-shaped moth, whose caterpillars feed on a very wide range of plants. The eggs, larvae and pupae can be associated with plant material and readily transported. The pest status of this insect in horticultural crops is very significant. It is native to Australia and was distributed to New Zealand, Hawaii, New Caledonia and the UK with apples [Malus domestica] or other plant material in the late 1800s. It has since spread throughout lowland New Zealand, and in recent years has spread through southern parts of the UK, and Ireland. In Hawaii, it appears to be confined to altitudes above 1100 m, and can largely be considered a pest of temperate regions.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Tortricidae
- Genus: Epiphyas
- Species: Epiphyas postvittana
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
This species is one of a number of Australian species of Epiphyas (under revision: M Horak, CSIRO, Australia, personal communication, 2007), although it is the one with the greatest pest status. Related species with pest status include Epiphyas pulla in Western Australia and Epiphyas xylodes in Tasmania. It is a member of the Archipini, which includes more than 500 species with worldwide distribution.
DescriptionTop of page
Light brown apple moth adults are highly sexually dimorphic and variable in wing pattern and colour, although a lighter, diamond-shaped area extending from behind the head to approximately one-third of the body length is typically visible at rest. Male forewing length ranges from 6-10 mm, compared with 7-13 mm in females (Thomas, 1975a). Males tend to have a higher contrast in colouration than females, although the level of contrast varies.
First instar larvae are approximately 1.6 mm long, and final instar larvae range from 10 to 20 mm in length. The body of a mature larva is green with a darker green central stripe and two side stripes. The first larval instar has a dark-brown head; all other instars have a light-fawn head and prothoracic plate. Overwintering larvae are typically darker.
Pupae are green after pupation, but become brown within 1 day.
DistributionTop of page
In Australia, E. postvittana is present in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia. It is widespread throughout New Zealand on many weedy hosts including gorse (Ulex europaeus) and broom (Cytisus scoparius) (Suckling et al., 1998). It is commonly present in gardens and unsprayed horticultural crops, as well as on woody weeds and many trees. It is present above 1100 m, on Hawaii on introduced Rubus and gorse [Ulex europaeus], although it was not found recently on Oahu or Maui in pheromone trap surveys (E Jang, USDA-ARS, USA, personal communication, 2007).
According to Suckling and Brockerhoff (2010), "several publications cite the presence of LBAM in New Caledonia, but this could not be verified (C. Mille, personal communication)". Despite numerous and recent trapping surveys (between the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009) in La Foa, E. postvittana was not caught and has been described as ‘not confirmed’ for New Caledonia. Surveys elsewhere in New Caledonia are required for further confirmation of its distribution status [C Mille, Institut Agronomique néo-Calédonien, La Foa, New Caledonia, personal communication, 2011].
NHM in the distribution table refers to specimens held in the Natural History Museum, London, UK.
Distribution TableTop of page
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/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|USA||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Invasive||EPPO, 2014|
|-California||Present||Introduced||Invasive||USDA-APHIS, 2007; EPPO, 2014|
|-Hawaii||Present||Introduced||1800s||Invasive||NHM, 1937; Higgins, 1917; Carter, 1984; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014||Above 1100 m|
|Ireland||Restricted distribution||Introduced||1990s||Invasive||Porter, 2001; EPPO, 2014|
|Portugal||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Azores||Present||Hummer et al., 2009|
|UK||Restricted distribution||Introduced||1930s||Invasive||Aldford, 1984; Carter, 1984; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014|
|-England and Wales||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Invasive||Winter, 1985; Cross, 1996; Porter, 2001; EPPO, 2014|
|Australia||Restricted distribution||Native||Carter, 1984; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014|
|-New South Wales||Present||MacQuillan, 1976; Thwaite, 1978; UK CAB International, 1992; Dondale, 2000; EPPO, 2014|
|-Queensland||Present||Native||McLachlan, 1970; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014|
|-South Australia||Present||Native||Madge, 1972; Carver, 1978; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014|
|-Tasmania||Present||Native||MacQuillan, 1976; Terauds et al., 1978; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014|
|-Victoria||Present||Native||Bruzzese, 1980; Danthanarayana and, 1983; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014|
|-Western Australia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Dumbleton, 1940; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014|
|New Caledonia||Absent, reported but not confirmed||Introduced||Not invasive||Carter, 1984; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014||Not found in surveys between the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009 in La Foa|
|New Zealand||Present||Introduced||1800s||Invasive||NHM, 1950 [Wellington]; Carter, 1984; Armstrong and Suckling, 1990; Suckling et al., 1990; UK CAB International, 1992; EPPO, 2014||Widespread in North and South Islands|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
The most detailed information on the spread of this moth comes from the UK, where amateur entomologists have monitored its spread over recent decades (Porter, 2001). E. postvittana showed good evidence of recent geographic range expansion in England (Porter, 2001), where, after being confined to the south-east of the UK for a long time, it has been observed to spread during the past 20 years.
It has been present in Hawaii for over 100 years. It has not colonised areas at sea level, but remains above 1100 m, according to recent surveys.
It is unclear how long it has been in California, USA, but at least since 2005, and probably earlier. In 2005, the first specimen was caught by light trap, but the trapping programme revealed widespread populations very quickly from March 2007 onwards, as over 30,000 pheromone traps were deployed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, USA. Thousands of moths have since been trapped. An eradication programme is underway in 13 counties of California. Aerial spraying of a micro-encapsulated sex pheromone has been conducted, despite public objections. Over US$ 20 million had been spent on regulatory, quarantine and other aspects of the programme in 2007.
IntroductionsTop of page
|Introduced to||Introduced from||Year||Reason||Introduced by||Established in wild through||References||Notes|
|Natural reproduction||Continuous restocking|
|England and Wales||1930s||Yes|
|Hawaii||1800s||Horticulture (pathway cause)||Yes|
|New Caledonia||Horticulture (pathway cause)|
|New Zealand||1800s||Horticulture (pathway cause)||Yes|
|UK||Australia||1930s||Horticulture (pathway cause)||Yes|
HabitatTop of page
In its native Australia, this species is thought to have evolved in association with Acacia and other evergreen species (Danthanarayana, 1975). E. postvittana has colonized a wide range of orchard and other habitats in both Australia and New Zealand. It is present in pine forests on understorey perennial weeds, on willows and other plants along stream and river margins, in coastal areas, and on a wide range of garden plants. It appears to have had limited success in penetrating native forest vegetation in New Zealand (DM Suckling, HortResearch, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand, personal communication, 1995-96).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Coastal areas||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Cultivated / agricultural land||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Disturbed areas||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Principal habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Protected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production)||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Rail / roadsides||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Scrub / shrublands||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Productive/non-natural|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
E. postvittana has a very wide host range, with 73 listed from Australia (Danthanarayana, 1975; Geier and Briese, 1981), and over 250 from New Zealand (Thomas, 1989; Dugdale and Crosby, 1995). Danthanarayana et al. (1995) have suggested that the better performance of E. postvittana on herbaceous rather than woody plants suggests that it primarily evolved as a feeder on the former. Mo et al. (2006) reported development of this species on Citrus spp.
In Australia, capeweed [Phyla nodiflora or Arctotheca calendula], curly dock [Rumex crispus] and plantain [Plantago major] are important hosts. In New Zealand, important perennial weed hosts are gorse (Ulex europeus) and broom (Cytisus scoparius), and in several regions it has been commonly recorded on annual weeds (Rumex obtusfolius and Plantago spp.), shelter and amenity trees (Salix spp. and Populus spp.) (Suckling et al., 1998). It has readily colonised the native Acacia koa (koa) in Hawaii, USA, along with gorse and other species, and there are also new host records from California, USA. The ecological host range in the existing geographic range has yet to be fully compiled, but it is clearly highly polyphagous.
Detoxification enzyme profile and expression of insecticide resistance is affected by larval host plant (Robertson et al., 1990), as is developmental rate (Danthanarayana, 1975; Tomkins et al., 1989). The larval and adult host plant preferences appear to be independent of each other (Foster and Howard, 1999). The molecular biology of the larval midgut, which can affect host range, has also been examined (e.g. Simpson et al., 2007).
A 1970s survey in New Zealand, conducted by DSIR Entomology Division Horticulture Group, in conjunction with horticultural advisors, returned the following results (Wearing, 2000):
- Exotic host plants: 88 (very common); 78 (common); 166 (occasional); 332 (grand total).
- New Zealand native or endemic host plants: 3 (very common); 16 (occasional); 19 (grand total).
Larval development was not confirmed on all of the ‘occasional’ hosts.
The host plants recorded in the New Zealand survey were summarised by family (Wearing, 1999) and are included in the host list of this datasheet.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Acacia baileyana (cootamundra wattle)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Acacia longifolia (golden wattle)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Actinidia chinensis (Chinese gooseberry)||Actinidiaceae||Main|
|Chaenomeles japonica (Japanese quince)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Chrysanthemum morifolium (chrysanthemum (florists'))||Asteraceae||Main|
|Crataegus monogyna (hawthorn)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Crataegus rhipidophylla (Midland hawthorn)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Cydonia oblonga (quince)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Diospyros (malabar ebony)||Ebenaceae||Main|
|Duchesnea indica (India mockstrawberry)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Euonymus japonicus (Japanese spindle tree)||Salacia||Other|
|Feijoa sellowiana (Horn of plenty)||Myrtaceae||Main|
|Fragaria ananassa (strawberry)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Genista monspessulana (Montpellier broom)||Fabaceae||Other|
|Humulus lupulus (hop)||Cannabaceae||Main|
|Kerria japonica (Japanese kerria)||Kerriidae||Unknown|
|Laburnum anagyroides (laburnum)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Ligustrum vulgare (common privet)||Oleaceae||Main|
|Litchi chinensis (lichi)||Sapindaceae||Main|
|Lotus corniculatus (bird's-foot trefoil)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Lotus uliginosus (greater lotus)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Lupinus albus (white lupine)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Lupinus angustifolius (narrow-leaf lupin)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Lupinus arboreus (tree lupin (UK))||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Lupinus luteus (yellow lupin)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Malus baccata (siberian crab apple)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Malus domestica (apple)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Medicago lupulina (black medick)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Medicago sativa (lucerne)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Myrtus communis (myrtle)||Myrtaceae||Other|
|Persea americana (avocado)||Lauraceae||Main|
|Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Pinus radiata (radiata pine)||Pinaceae||Main|
|Pisum sativum (pea)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Pittosporum tobira (Japanese pittosporum)||Pittosporaceae||Other|
|Prunus armeniaca (apricot)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Prunus avium (sweet cherry)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Prunus campanulata (Taiwan cherry)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Prunus cerasifera (myrobalan plum)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Prunus cerasus (sour cherry)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Prunus domestica (plum)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Prunus laurocerasus (cherry laurel)||Unknown|
|Prunus persica (peach)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Prunus persica var. nucipersica (nectarine)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Prunus serrulata (Japanese flowering cherry)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Pyracantha angustifolia (Narrow-leaf firethorn)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Pyrus communis (European pear)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Pyrus pyrifolia (Oriental pear tree)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Pyrus ussuriensis (amur pear)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Rhaphiolepis umbellata (Yedda hawthorne)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Rosa canina (Dog rose)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Rosa rubiginosa (sweet briar)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)||Lamiaceae||Other|
|Rubus (blackberry, raspberry)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Rubus fruticosus (blackberry)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Rubus idaeus (raspberry)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)||Rosaceae||Unknown|
|Solanum tuberosum (potato)||Solanaceae||Main|
|Trifolium campestre (Hop trefoil)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Trifolium dubium (yellow suckling clover)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Trifolium fragiferum (strawberry clover)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Trifolium pratense (purple clover)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Trifolium repens (white clover)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Trifolium subterraneum (subterranean clover)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Ulex europaeus (gorse)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Vicia faba (faba bean)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Vicia faba var. major (broad bean)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Vicia sativa (common vetch)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Vicia villosa (hairy vetch)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
|Vitis (grape)||Vitaceae||Wild host|
|Vitis vinifera (grapevine)||Vitaceae||Main|
|Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria)||Fabaceae||Unknown|
Growth StagesTop of page Post-harvest
SymptomsTop of page
Larval nests are typically seen as leaves webbed together, or attached to fruit. Fruit surface feeding is common within larval nest sites. On apples [Malus domestica], older skin damage has a cork-like appearance, and may be small (5 mm) or larger areas, depending on larval instar and feeding duration. Feeding sites on other fruits are similar.
Vectoring of Botrytis cinerea by larvae has been shown in grapes [Vitis vinifera], with up to 13% of berry damage (by weight) caused as a result (Bailey, 1997).
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / lesions: scab or pitting|
|Leaves / webbing|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
The number of annual generations of light brown apple moth (LBAM) varies with latitude within its range. There is considerable overlap between generations, with development driven by temperature and larval host plant. The highest rate of population increase was on Plantago lanceolata [buckhorn], followed by Rumex crispus [curly dock], apples (Malus domestica cv. Granny Smith) and Trifolium repens [white clover] (Danthanarayana et al., 1995).
There is no winter resting stage, although overwintering larvae tend to develop slowly, with a lower threshold of development for all stages of 7.5°C and an upper threshold of 31°C (Danthanarayana, 1975). In Australia, the number of generations varies from three to four, with three in most areas (Wearing et al., 1991).
In New Zealand, four overlapping generations are completed annually in the north (38°S), with major flight periods occurring during September-October, December-January, February-March, and April-May (Thomas, 1975b). Three generations are typically observed annually in the Southern North Island and Northern South Island (40°S). In Canterbury (43°S), Otago (45°S) and Southland (47°S), the number of complete generations is reduced to two.
Eggs are typically laid in clusters of 3-150 on the upper surface of leaves, and take 8 days at 20°C to hatch (longer at cooler temperatures). These give rise to the first generation of larvae. There are five (male) or six (female) larval instars (Thomas, 1975b).
The rate of larval development is much slower during winter. The majority of larvae overwinter in prolonged phases of the second, third and fourth instars. During this period they normally feed on herbaceous plants and shrubs. Re-invasion of apples and other fruit crops takes place during October-December, when moths from the overwintered larval generation start oviposition (Thomas, 1975b).
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||0||32|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||7||0|
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Australoglypta latrobei||Parasite||Larvae||New Zealand||apples|
|Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki||Pathogen|
|Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis||Pathogen|
|Brachymeria phya||Parasite||Pupae||New Zealand||apples|
|Brachymeria teuta||Parasite||Pupae||New Zealand||apples|
|Dolichogenidea tasmanica||Parasite||Larvae||New Zealand||apples etc|
|Eriborus epiphyas||Parasite||Paull and Austin, 2006|
|Glabridorsum stokesii||Parasite||Pupae||New Zealand||apples etc|
|Trichogrammatoidea bactrae fumata||Parasite|
|Trigonospila brevifacies||Parasite||Larvae||New Zealand||apples etc|
|Voriella uniseta||Parasite||Larvae/Pupae||New Zealand||apples|
|Xanthopimpla rhopaloceros||Parasite||Pupae||New Zealand||apples etc|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Briese et al. (1980) reported resistance to a nucleopolyhedrosis virus (MacCollom and Reed, 1971), which was probably one of the first examples of virus-resistance in insects. The virus genome has been sequenced (Caradoc-Davies et al., 2001; Hyink et al., 2002).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
E. postvittana is reported as being spread with plant material, including apple trees [Malus domestica], from Australia to New Zealand and the UK. It has probably spread within the UK with nursery stock. Within New Zealand, it may have spread naturally since the 1800s.
Pathway CausesTop of page
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx||eggs; larvae; pupae||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Fruits (inc. pods)||eggs; larvae||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Growing medium accompanying plants||larvae; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Leaves||eggs; larvae; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Seedlings/Micropropagated plants||eggs; larvae; nymphs; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Impact SummaryTop of page
Economic ImpactTop of page
Losses in Australia are estimated to be of the order of AU$ 21 million per annum from a range of industries (RW Sutherst, CSIRO Entomology, Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia, personal communication), but there has been no similar estimation in other countries for this species alone. In New Zealand, several tortricids cost fruit export growers NZ$ 35 million per annum in control costs, including monitoring. The economic cost of E. postvittana in grapes [Vitis vinifera] in Australia and New Zealand has not been estimated, although one to two sprays may be used each season. Approximately 1000 ha of mating disruption occurs in Australia (H Senoh, Shin Etsu Fine Chemicals, Tokyo, personal communication, 2007).
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Invasive in its native range
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Has a broad native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Is a habitat generalist
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Pioneering in disturbed areas
- Tolerant of shade
- Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
- Fast growing
- Has high reproductive potential
- Has high genetic variability
- Host damage
- Negatively impacts agriculture
Uses ListTop of page
- Laboratory use
- Research model
DiagnosisTop of page
Detection and InspectionTop of page
Pheromone traps have been widely used for detection and monitoring of populations of this species, since the identification of the sex pheromone (Bellas et al., 1983). A range of applications were reported by Suckling (1993), including insecticide resistance monitoring, insecticide spray reduction, and sample collection for population studies. Pheromone traps were proposed for use in the biosecurity detection of E. postvittana in the USA, in combination with codling moth lures, because there is no cross-talk between these species (Schwalbe and Maestro, 1988). This was apparently not adopted. Bradley et al. (1998) reported the use of traps with a spray threshold for insect growth regulator timing. Shoot tip assessment has also been used on apples [Malus domestica]and other crops. Suckling et al. (1998) used time searches for alternative host plants to study the host range. Egg sampling and pheromone trapping is conducted in Australian vineyards (Somers and Quirk, 2005). Trapping of females using fermenting port wine has also been used (Suckling et al., 1994).
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
E. postvittana is similar to Epiphyas pulla and Epiphyasliadelpha.
Geier and Springett (1976) reported possible hybridization based on demographic characteristics. The larvae are similar to larvae of other leafrollers, which may be present (for example in New Zealand, Planotortrix octo, Planotortrixexcessana, Ctenopseustis obliquana and Ctenopseustisherana). Dugdale et al. (2005) reported on keys to many species.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Regulatory Control (plant quarantine and certification)
Live larvae are not permitted on fruit exported between countries.
Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods
Removal of mummified fruits in older apple varieties was previously recommended (Wearing et al., 1991). Mowing and grazing of the orchard understorey can help to reduce the pest pressure, along with removal of weedy hosts. Development of orchard understoreys based on resistant legume plants has been examined, but no resistant plant material has been found (Burnip and Suckling, 1997).
Natural resistance is not known in many host plants, although some obscure apple cultivars showed weak resistance (Wearing et al., 2003). Transgenic apples expressing Bt toxins were previously under development in several countries (Suckling et al., 1996). Resistance management of transgenic apples expressing Bt toxins has been investigated using mating disruption through modelling (Caprio and Suckling, 1995; Caprio and Suckling, 1997).
Predation by arthropods (including spiders) is a key factor in the population ecology of this species, and a wide range of biological control agents is present in Australia (Danthanarayana, 1983). Parasitoids were introduced from Australia to New Zealand for classical biological control (Thomas, 1989). Several species are routinely encountered, with the most abundant being D. tasmanica on both berryfruit (Charles et al., 1996) and a range of weeds found near apple orchards (Suckling et al., 1998). The success of this parasitoid is affected by the host plant (DM Suckling, Hortresearch, New Zealand, personal communication, 2008).
Innundative release of native egg parasitoids (Trichogramma) has been proposed in Australia (Glen and Hoffman, 1997).
A range of insecticides have been tested and are effective on various crops. These include organophosphates (chlorpyrifos), carbamates (carbaryl), insect growth regulators (tebufenozide, lufenuron), spinosad, indoxacarb, and Bt. Resistance to organophosphates and carbamates was described from a limited area of New Zealand (Suckling and Khoo, 1993). Bt efficacy is variable to poor on grapes (Bailey et al., 1996) and apples (Suckling et al., 1993), although on Actinidia chinensis it is reported to give good control of tortricids (McKenna et al., 1995).
Early Warning Systems
The pheromone (Bellas et al., 1983) was proposed as an early warning system for the arrival of this species in the USA (Schwalbe and Mastro, 1988). A survey was conducted in 2005 in California, and none were caught (D Lance, USDA-CPHST, USA, personal communication, 2007). However, in 2007 there was confirmation of an established population in California over a large area. Either the insect spread incredibly fast, including via human assisted-transport, or the surveillance missed something.
Field Monitoring/Economic Threshold Levels and IPM Programmes
Pheromone trapping was the basis of the now superseded New Zealand "Window" programme to remove pre-Christmas organophosphates (Suckling et al., 1988). More recently, the accumulated pheromone trap catch inside apple blocks was reported as the basis for application of the selective larvicide tebufenozide by Bradley et al. (1998), in New Zealand’s Integrated Fruit Production for apples. It can be important to take other sources of the insect into account, including the understory (Rogers et al., 2003).
IPM has been developed for Australian pears (Barrass and Brown, 1993), apples (Thwaite, 1997) and grapes (Bailey et al., 1997), where it has used day degree accumulation for phenology prediction of this insect (Madge and Stirrat, 1991). Peach IPM is also under development in New Zealand (Lo et al., 1995).
In Australian vineyards, moth trapping, and larval and egg sampling are recommended (Somers and Quirk, 2005). They stated that “trapping of moths provides information on peak times of moth emergence and egg laying, but numbers of moths caught are not good predictors of the size of subsequent [E. postvittana] populations”.
Trap types should be placed within the canopy and checked at least once a week between budburst and harvest. Pheromone traps should be arranged in a grid pattern consisting of three to five traps within each vineyard. One pheromone cap should be changed each week on a 3- to 5-week rotation (depending on the number of traps used) to minimise the effects of enhanced attractiveness of new caps.
Inspections of shoots, leaves and bunches should be timed in conjunction with moth trapping counts. Egg masses and young larvae will be most abundant shortly after the times of peak moth trap counts, and monitoring should be conducted at this time for the best results.
The shoots, leaves and bunches are monitored at different times of the year, depending on their availability and the likelihood of E. postvittana presence. Monitoring must be conducted in a manner that ensures the vineyard is adequately checked. Monitoring should be conducted across the entire vineyard either systematically or randomly so that there is no conscious bias in which vines are monitored.
Mating disruption using sex pheromones has been used for the management of insecticide resistance of this species in apples in New Zealand (Suckling et al., 1990), as well as for low-residue fruit in apple IPM (Suckling and Shaw, 1995). A considerable amount of background work on the response of this insect to sex pheromones released from Shin Etsu polyethylene tubing dispensers has been done, including the use of field electroantennogrammes to study plume structures (Suckling and Angerilli, 1996; Karg and Suckling, 1997; Suckling and Karg, 1997). Apple foliage was discovered to act as a sink and source of attractive pheromone (Karg et al., 1994), and was shown to influence mating disruption (Suckling et al., 1996).
The atmospheric concentration required for trap shut-down and prevention of wing fanning, as surrogates for mating disruption, was estimated using a partially validated Lagrangian model (Suckling et al., 1999a, b). The estimated atmospheric concentration required to prevent catch to 105 µg lures was 10 ng/m3. The concentration required to prevent wing fanning was 70 ng/m3.
Also trials in Australia recently demonstrated effective mating disruption in citrus orchards (Mo et al., 2006). Other formulations, including aerosols, have been examined in New Zealand (Suckling et al., 2006). Sprayable pheromone has been applied aerially in California.
Pheromone biosynthesis has been elucidated (e.g. Foster, 2001).
A range of treatments have been examined, but few have reached commercialization.
On apples, hot water treatment (Jones et al., 1996) and high temperature controlled atmosphere storage have been used (Lay-Yee et al., 1997). Hot water treatment (Jones et al., 1996) and high temperature have also been used for nectarines (Birtles et al., 1991), while on apricots (Whiting et al., 1997), pears (Chervin et al., 1997) and persimmons (Dentener et al., 1996; 1997), controlled atmosphere and cold storage, high temperature and controlled atmosphere and heat and cold have been used, respectively.
For cut flowers, phosphine and controlled atmospheres have been used (Karunaratne et al., 1997).
ReferencesTop of page
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ContributorsTop of page
21/12/2007 Updated by:
D Suckling, Hort+Research, PO Box 51, Lincoln 8152, Canterbury, New Zealand
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