The midgeDasineura mali (Kieffer) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is a significant pest of apples (Malus spp.), and the recent identification of the female sex pheromone is enabling new direct control tactics to be considered. Direct control using male suppression will require knowledge of the frequency of multiple mating, dispersal and colonization rates, and the efficiency of male removal. Males were able to mate up to five times, with a mean of 2.7 times when presented in a 10 female-to-1 male group, designed to simulate male suppression. Male catch in response to the pheromone loading was curvilinear over 4 orders of magnitude from 3 μg to 30 mg on rubber septa. Trapping using a high-dose pheromone lure was combined with oil-based traps similar to the inexpensive New Zealand “Lynfield trap” used for tephritid surveillance, to test male suppression in young orchard blocks at 500 traps per ha. Monitoring traps indicated 96% lower catch in the treated plots compared with control plots, over 137 d. However, a lack of shoot tip infestation in both treated and untreated plots indicated limited colonization and prevented an assessment of potential population suppression. Furthermore, a contribution to these results from communication disruption cannot be ruled out. Replicated transects of frequency of infested shoots from a mature orchard across the adjacent young block confirmed that colonization by ovipositing females was essentially limited to the first 30 m.
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Vol. 100 • No. 3