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Title: Lepidoptera associated with avocado fruit in Guatemala

item HODDLE, MARK - University Of California
item Brown, John

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/23/2010
Publication Date: 2/1/2011
Citation: Hoddle, M., Brown, J.W. 2011. Lepidoptera associated with avocado fruit in Guatemala. Florida Entomologist. 93:649-650.

Interpretive Summary: Even though California is the fourth largest producer of avocados in the world, importation of fresh avocado fruit into this state from Mexico in the 2008-2009 season was 36.3 million kilograms. Because of the significant movement of this commodity into the U.S., it is critical to understand the pests of this fruit in areas from which it is being exported in the event that these pest species are inadvertently introduced into the U.S. This paper discusses 10 species of moths that were reared from avocado orchards in Guatemala and provides data on their abundance and host preference, and speculates in their potential invasiveness. This information will be valuable to the avocado industry, avocado pest managers, and action agencies such as APHIS-PPQ.

Technical Abstract: A total of about 1,098 specimens representing 10 moth species from four families were reared from harvested avocado fruit in Guatemala. Two species were reared from small immature avocados and grown to maturity on unopened avocado flower clusters after small fruit desiccated: (1) Argyrotaenia urbana (Busck) (Tortricidae) (n = 2 specimens), and (2) Polyortha n. sp. (Tortricidae) (n = 1). The numbers of each of these two species reared from small fruit do not accurately reflect their rate of infestation owing to larval mortality resulting from fruit desiccation. From large fruit, eight different moth species were reared: (1) Amorbia santamaria Phillips and Powell (Tortricidae) (n = 5); (2) Cryptaspasma sp. nr. lugubris (Meyrick) (Tortricidae) (n = 50); (3) Euxoa sorella Schaus (Noctuidae) (n = 1); (4) Netechma pyrrhodelta (Meyrick) (Tortricidae) (n = 1); (5) Micrathetis triplex Walker (Noctuidae) (n = 1); (6) Stenoma catenifer Walsingham (Elachistidae) (n ˜ 1000 specimens); (7) Holcocera plagatola Adamski (Coleophoridae) (n = 2), and (8) Histura perseavora Brown (Tortricidae) (n = 35).