Submitted to: Journal of Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/13/2011
Publication Date: 12/21/2011
Citation: Wenninger, E.J., Landolt, P.J. 2011. Apple and sugar feeding in adult codling moths, Cydia pomonella: effects on longevity, fecundity, and egg fertility. Journal of Insect Science. Vol 11 #161. Interpretive Summary: New approaches to manage insect pests of apple and pear crops are needed that are safe, effective, and compatible with the environment. Codling moth is the key pest of apple and a primary pest of pear in the western United States. Researchers at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Wapato, Washington, collaborating with scientists at the University of Idaho are researching adult codling moth feeding behavior in relation to moth feeding on sugar sources on how long the moths lived, and how many eggs they laid. This information indicates that the availability of adult foods in orchards may increase the pest potential of the moth. The results of the study also supports the contention that trapping the female moth with feeding attractant lures could help prevent oviposition and worm damage to fruit, providing that natural food sources such as honeydew from sucking insects and rotten fruit are controlled.
Technical Abstract: Attraction of adult codling moths, Cydia pomonella (L.)(Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), to sweet baits has been well documented; however, beneficial effects of sugar feeding on moth fitness have not been demonstrated convincingly. Longevity, fecundity, and egg fertility were examined for female/male pairs of codling moths maintained with the following food regimens: water, sucrose water, honey water, apple juice, apple flesh, or starved (i.e. no food or water provided). Longevity and total fecundity were enhanced in all treatments relative to the starved treatment moths. Sucrose water, honey water, and apple juice treatments yielded the highest longevity, but total fecundity was highest for moths maintained on honey water or apple juice. Total egg fertility did not differ among treatments; however, egg fertility declined more gradually over the female lifespan for the three aqueous solution diets (sucrose water, honey water, and apple juice). Similarly, fecundity per day declined more gradually over time for the oney water and apple juice treatments. Performance of moths maintained with apple flesh was generally intermediate between that of moths with water and the three aqueous solution treatments, suggesting that moths benefit from feeding on ripe apple flesh, but apple may be more difficult to ingest or apple nutrients may be less concentrated compared to aqueous solutions. The results presented here may explain attraction of adult codling moths to sweet baits as well as to odors from ripe fruit, which may be a natural source of food in the field late in the season.