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New Zealand Plant Protection 69 (2016): 328

Establishing cocooning apple leafcurling midge onto apples for disinfestation research

A. J. Hawthorne, M.J. Griffin, N.E.M. Page-Weir, S.P. Redpath and L.E. Jamieson


Apple exports intercepted with cocooning apple leafcurling midge (ALCM) are fumigated with methyl bromide (MB), which reduces apple quality. ALCM is controlled in the orchard using the insecticide Movento™, while also being parasitised by Platygaster demades and preyed on by generalist predators such as Sejanus albisignata. These ALCM control measures make it difficult to collect sufficient numbers of ALCM-infested apples for disinfestation research on alternatives to MB. Therefore, procedures were developed for collecting and storing cocooning ALCM on apples in the laboratory. ALCM-infested leaves were collected in plastic bags, saturated with water and placed at 20°C. The water stimulated larvae to exit the leaf-rolls. Using a fine paint brush, ten larvae were placed on the calyx of an apple and confined using a cage attached with Blu-Tak™. The apples were placed in plastic bins and sprayed with water. A mesh net and a brown paper bag were secured over the top of the bin to reduce condensation. The bin was stored at 20°C, 16:8 light:dark for 10-15 days. Of 1,133 apples established, 988 of them (87.2 %) had on average 2.2 cocooning ACLM. Large numbers of cocooning ALCM on fruit can now be provided for disinfestation research.

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