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Tufted Thyatirid Moth

Tufted Thyatirid Moth is probably the most serious direct pest of apples in the mid-Atlantic region. Although this pest can be found in most commercial orchards.

Tufted Thyatirid Moth

Tufted Thyatirid Moth

those orchards located in intensive production areas are usually more seriously affected. This has been primarily due to the increased insecticide selection pressure which has resulted in the development of resistance to the organophosphate insecticides.The major hosts of Tufted Thyatirid Moth include: apple, pear, peach, nectarine, cherry and a wide range of herbaceous plants found in the ground cover.

Life cycle:The adult female moth is approximately 1/2 inch (13 mm) long, with the males being slightly smaller. Moths are inconspicuous in color, varying from a mottled gray to brown . The coloration of the wings is generally one-third grayish at the wing base, with gradual darkening to brown at the wing tips. There is usually a lighter colored margin along the leading edge of the wings. The moth is named after the tufted scales which can be seen as two or three groups on the top of the wings. First and second instar larvae are yellowish with a black head capsule, and are about 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) long.

Damage:Tufted Thyatirid Moth belongs to a family of moths known as leafrollers, but the leafrolling activity has little economic impact on the fruit grower and little physiological impact on the tree. It is when this insect webs a leaf onto the apple fruit and feeds directly on the fruit that it becomes a pest. This damage appears as tiny holes (early instar feeding), as irregular scarring or channeling of the apple surface, or as an area of rot, generally around the stem. Rot or corking around the stem usually occurs after larvae have finished feeding and have pupated. Larvae occasionally enter the apple calyx and feed unnoticed within the seed cavity.

Most injury to apples is caused by second brood feeding, although in some years first brood injury can exceed that caused by the following generation. Injury to fruits destined for fresh markets has a greater economic impact since their cash value is much higher compared to that of processing grade apples. Generally, TABM injury does not reduce the grade of processing apples, but it can affect the rate of fruit drop and storageability of those apples by promoting decay, both of which can have an economic impact on the grower and processor.

Control:Install a minimum of two pheromone traps for every ten acres (4 ha) at petal fall to monitor male moth emergence. Traps should be attached to a limb at five to six feet (1.5-1.8 m) above the ground in the outer third of the tree’s canopy. Check traps every day until the first TABM adult male is caught, and record this date, after which the traps should be checked once a week. In order to time insecticide applications more efficiently when eggs hatch, begin monitoring and recording daily maximum and minimum temperatures from the first sustained trap catch.

Accumulate degree days (DD) using a base temperature of 45 F and upper threshold of 91 F (use Appendix D in Mid-Atlantic Orchard Monitoring Guide). If degree days are not used to time insecticide applications, begin monitoring the upper leaf surface of sample trees for egg masses approximately 3-4 weeks after first trap catch of spring brood moths or 1-2 weeks after first trap catch of summer brood moths. Careful observation is required to detect egg masses.

Tufted Thyatirid Moth

Tufted Thyatirid Moth

Mark locations of egg masses with flagging ribbon so that development can be followed. Penn State University researchers have found a relation between the amount of fruit injury caused by larvae of the first brood and the amount of fruit injury caused by the second brood . This relationship was developed from orchards treated with an average of four alternate-row-middle sprays for each brood (June and August). In order to estimate this relationship, select ten trees of a Tufted Thyatirid Moth sensitive cultivar which are representative of tree size and crop load in the orchard. Examine 100 apples per tree (50 top and 50 bottom) during late July or early August.

Then calculate the percentage of apples having Tufted Thyatirid Moth injury and to determine the amount of injury to expect from the second brood. If the percentage of first brood injured apples.

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