Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Method and tools for monitoring the pine processionary moth (lepidoptera: thaumetopoeidae) populations with pheromone-baited traps

A series of studies were carried out to design pheromone-based monitoring of the Pine Processionary Moth (PPM), Thaumetopoea pityocampa. In a dose - response field test the number of male captures significantly increased with the dosage of pityolure to a plateau around 10mg. The activity of pheromone dispensers lasted at least 11 weeks, enough to cover the whole flight period of T. pityocampa.

In a comparison of several saturating and non-saturating trap designs, plate sticky traps always showed the best trapping efficiency. Captures were significantly higher in regularly cleaned traps and at tree canopy height but catches of males PPM were positively correlated with those obtained at human breast height. The relationship between the numbers of males PPM captured in pheromone traps and the density of winter nests was investigated using ten traps baited with low doses of pityolure in fourteen maritime pine stands.

Mean trap captures calculated from ten to three traps were significantly correlated with nest density, indicating that four plate sticky traps baited with 0.2mg of pityolure per hectare could provide a cost effective tool for monitoring densities of PPM population. The reliability of this design was tested in a total of 33 pine stands of different age and species across three countries, France, Italy and Portugal and in the core and expansion areas of the pest. Results were remarkably consistent showing significant and positive correlations between mean male captures per day and total number of winter nests per hectare irrespective of the regions. The correlations with the level of infestation in the following generation was also positive for all regions although slightly less significant.

These results suggest that pheromone-baited traps provide a suitable tool to monitor T. pityocampa populations. The method is already in use in France, in collaboration with a SME from Spain (SEDQ Barcelona) involved in the production of the baits. We plan to extend the system to the other countries interested by the moth within two years by the project end.

New jobs in national forest health services will be created by forming people involved in the monitoring and in the selection of the areas where biocontrol is carried out (see Result Btk 32524). The result is targeted to the main representative of forest IPM in each of the interested countries.

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Reported by

Laboratory of Forest Entomology and Biodiversity, UMR BIOGECO, INRA, 69 Route d'Arcachon
33612 CESTAS Cedex
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