The leopard moth, Zeuzera pyrina (L.) (Lepidoptera: Cossidae), is a damaging pest for many fruit trees (e.g., apple [Malus spp.], pear [Pyrus spp.] peach [Prunus spp.], and olive [Olea]). Recently, it caused serious yield losses in newly established olive orchards in Egypt, including the death of young trees. Chemical and biological control have shown limited efficiency against this pest. Field tests were conducted in 2005 and 2006 to evaluate mating disruption (MD) for the control of the leopard moth, on heavily infested, densely planted olive plots (336 trees per ha). The binary blend of the pheromone components (E,Z)-2, 13-octadecenyl acetate and (E,Z)-3, 13-octadecenyl acetate (95:5) was dispensed from polyethylene vials. Efficacy was measured considering reduction of catches in pheromone traps, reduction of active galleries of leopard moth per tree and fruit yield in the pheromone-treated plots (MD) compared with control plots (CO). Male captures in MD plots were reduced by 89.3% in 2005 and 82.9% in 2006, during a trapping period of 14 and 13 wk, respectively. Application of MD over two consecutive years progressively reduced the number of active galleries per tree in the third year where no sex pheromone was applied. In all years, larval galleries outnumbered moth captures. Fruit yield from trees where sex pheromone had been applied in 2005 and 2006 increased significantly in 2006 (98.8 ± 2.9 kg per tree) and 2007 (23 ± 1.3 kg per tree) compared with control ones (61.0 ± 3.9 and 10.0 ± 0.6 kg per tree, respectively). Mating disruption shows promising for suppressing leopard moth infestation in olives.
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Vol. 103 • No. 5