Plum Moth

Plum Moth

 

(Laspeyresia, or Grapholitha, funebrana), a moth of the family Tortricidae, a dangerous plum pest. The wingspread is 12–15 mm. The forewings are grayish-brown, with an oval lead-colored spot on the outer edge; the hind wings are light gray, with a fringe along the outer edge.

The plum moth is distributed in Western Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, and Western Asia. It occurs in the European USSR, Middle Asia, and Southwest Siberia. The moth does a great deal of damage along the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, in Krasnodar Krai, in the Crimea, and in Middle Asia. The plum moth attacks cherry plum, blackthorn, apricot, and peach. One to three generations are produced each year. The first moths appear on early-plum varieties (for example, Viktor-iia) during abscission of the perianth. The females deposit an egg on each fruit and, less commonly, on the leaves. The larvae eat the pulp of the fruits, and the injured fruits fall to the ground prematurely. The yields decline sharply.

Control measures include clearing away dead bark and cavities to destroy overwintering caterpillars, collecting and destroying fallen fruit, placing trap bands at the base of the trunks, and loosening the soil when the caterpillars of the summer generations are pupating. Also effective is the spraying of the trees with insecticides before the fruits ripen: the first spraying should be done at the onset of the mass flight of the moths, and the second spraying should follow ten to 12 days later. In regions where the plum moth produces a single generation, for example, in Byelorussia, good results are obtained by introducing insect-egg parasites of the family Trichogrammidae.

REFERENCE

Vasil’ev, V. P., and I. Z. Livshits. Vrediteli plodovykh kul’tur. Moscow, 1958.

M. A. GONTARENKO

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