A Potential Collection Method for Agapeta zoegana (Lepidoptera: Cochylidae), a Knapweed-root-feeding Moth

Sheila M. Fitzpatrick


This paper describes a method for collecting living, undamaged Agapeta zoegana (L.) moths, especially recently mated females. The objective was to gather this potential biological control agent for subsequent distribution to land infested with knapweeds (Centaurea spp.) Sweep-netting and baiting techniques were inappropriate collection methods, because the moths were delicate and did not appear to forage. The moths did not move to the plant tops at particular temperatures or times of day and therefore could not easily be collected by aspiration. However, males and virgin and mated females within large field cages were attracted to UV light and, during their daily period of reproductive activity from dusk to midnight, could be collected in a Heliothis trap (Sentry) illuminated by a blacklight. In the open, neither this method nor a mobileblacklight technique were successful in 1988, but both warrant further work. Results are discussed in the context of A. zoegana establishment in B.C.

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