Fariba Mozaffarian, Alimorad Sarafrazi, Gadir Nouri Ganbalani
Journal of Insect Science 7 (2), 1-11, (1 January 2007) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.007.0201
KEYWORDS: population variation, host, carob moth, geometric morphometrics
The carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae (Zeller, 1839) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is the most important pest of pomegranate in Iran. As it has been rarely recorded on other host plants, control methods have mostly been focused on its populations on pomegranate. In this study, shapes and sizes of wings were compared in populations on 4 host plants (pomegranate, fig, pistachio and walnut) using a landmark-based geometric morphometric method, and analysis of partial warp scores and centroid sizes. The results showed significantly smaller wing size in populations on pomegranate and a significant host plant-associated shape difference among populations as a consequence of allometric growth. This suggests that the wing size and shape differences among test populations may not have a genetic basis and could happen because of differences in the nutritional content of host plants. The results of the analysis suggest that the female carob moth lays her eggs on host plants that provide suitable conditions for hatching. The larger size of moths on hosts other than pomegranate showed that some host plants such as fig, pistachio and walnut can provide for increased stored nutritional reserves by larvae that may result in more successful over-wintering and higher fecundity in adults. This suggests that in spite of the more extensive activity of carob moth on pomegranate in Iran, populations on other host plants can have an important effect on expanding pest population sizes in following years which should be considered in control methods.