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(Pectinophora gossypiella), a moth of the family Gelechiidae; an injurious pest of cotton, kenaf, okra, and other plants of the family Malvaceae. The pink bollworm is distributed in many cotton-growing countries, including India, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Japan, China, Korea, Greece, and Italy. The insect does not occur in the USSR, where it is an object of external quarantine.
The pink bollworm produces two to six generations per year. The moths deposit as many as 500 eggs on the flower buds, bolls, leaf buds, leaves, and stems of cotton and other plants. The caterpillars damage the generative organs of cotton, causing the flower buds, flowers, and green bolls to fall off the plant. Their discharges contaminate the fiber of mature bolls, making the fiber unsuitable for textile manufacture. The pink bollworm can cause a 20-to 80-percent reduction in the annual cotton yield.
Importing infected seeds and produce from the family Malvaceae is prohibited in the USSR. Control measures include the destruction of caterpillars found in seeds, cotton, and plant debris by fumigation. Other effective control measures are the use of insecticides on plantings, the destruction of post-harvest residue, the use of light traps to catch the moths, and the use of insect blood sterilants.
REFERENCESpravochnik po karantinnym i drugim opasnym vrediteliam, bolezniam i sornym rasteniiam. Moscow, 1970.
A. K. MARKIN