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New Zealand Plant Protection 64 (2011): 291

Pheromone trap and crop infestation monitoring of mealybug species in Nelson apple orchards

P.W. Shaw and D.R. Wallis


Potential applications for synthetic sex pheromones for two troublesome mealybug species found in New Zealand, Pseudococcus calceolariae (citrophilus) and P. longispinus (longtailed), are ongoing. The aim of this pilot study was to compare the results of season-long pheromone trapping for both species with crop infestation assessments at harvest. A total of four traps of each species was monitored in three commercial Nelson orchard blocks between September 2010 and April 2011. Trapping indicated a sharp peak in male citrophilus mealybug flight activity in mid February with a gradual decline thereafter. Longtailed mealybug flight activity increased during March and peaked in late April when trapping ceased. Higher numbers of citrophilus mealybug males (36,764) were trapped than longtailed mealybug (693). At harvest, mealybugs were identified on 357 infested fruit and 295 infested leaves to determine mealybug species composition and relative abundance. The dominant species was longtailed mealybug, identified on 92% of infested fruit. Citrophilus and obscure mealybugs (P. viburni) were identified on 3 and 5% of infested fruit respectively. From the leaf sample 410 longtailed, 4 obscure and no citrophilus mealybugs were identified. These results indicate pheromone trap catches do not reflect species abundance in the crop. Possible reasons for these results are discussed.

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