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New Zealand Plant Protection 69 (2016): 133-137

Occurrence of oriental fruit moth (Grapholita molesta) in apple orchards in New Zealand

P.L. Lo and J.T.S. Walker

ABSTRACT

Grapholita molesta (Oriental Fruit Moth, OFM) primarily infests stonefruit, but overseas it has adapted to pipfruit and become a major pest of apples and pears in some places. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of OFM in New Zealand apple orchards. Pheromone trapping was conducted in five apple growing regions in 2014-15 and repeated in Hawke's Bay and Nelson in 2015-16. No OFM was found in Gisborne (three orchards), Nelson (six) or Central Otago (seven), but it was recorded on one of six Waikato orchards. In Hawke's Bay, OFM occurred on 23/36 orchards, although on 15 properties ≤7 moths/trap/year were caught. However, traps in two orchards caught over 100 moths/year. The few OFM collected on some orchards may have been "strays" from nearby stonefruit orchards, but the high numbers in these two apple orchard blocks suggested the populations were established. The implications of OFM becoming an apple pest or reaching the South Island are discussed.

Keywords: Grapholita molesta, oriental fruit moth, apple, New Zealand.

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