Temperature, irradiation and delivery as factors affecting spring-time flight activity and recapture of mass-reared male codling moths released by the Okanagan-Kootenay sterile insect programme

Gary J. R. Judd, Mark G. T. Gardiner


Laboratory flight-tunnel and field mark-release-recapture experiments were conducted to compare pheromone response, flight activity and recapture of wild codling moths, Cydia pomonella (L.), with codling moths mass-reared by the Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Programme. These experiments were designed to identify factors that may contribute to poor pheromone trap catches of sterile moths in the spring. Irradiation (250 Gy) had no influence on catches of n1ass-reared moths in pheromone traps at spring (16°C) or summer temperatures (25°C) in flight-tunnel assays. In field experiments however, recapture of n1ass-reared and wild moths in pheromone traps was significantly reduced after irradiation, suggesting effects of irradiation were modified by additional factors acting in the field. Catches of mass-reared moths in flight-t1mnel assays showed a nonlinear increase with increasing temperature. There was no evidence that n1ass- reared moths were less responsive to pheromone at low temperatures than wild moths. Based on x-intercepts of linear regressions of percent catch vs. temperature (15 - 25°C), flight-temperature thresholds for mass-reared (14.7°C) and wild moths (15.4°C) were similar in flight-tunnel assays. Irradiated moths carried for 4 h on all-terrain vehicles used for delivering sterile moths were less responsive to pheromone lures in subsequent flight-tunnel assays than moths that spent no time on these vehicles, but only when flown at spring-like temperatures (16°C). In field tests, moths released on the ground were caught significantly less often than moths released within the tree canopy and negative effects of ground release appeared greater when made in spring compared with autumn.


Codling moth; sterile insect technique; sterile:wild ratios; flight temperature thresholds; flight tunnel tests; mark-recapture tests

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