Understanding the Traits of a Fruit Borer Infesting Apples

Jenn Hoskins
26th May, 2024

Understanding the Traits of a Fruit Borer Infesting Apples

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study focused on the codling moth, a major pest threatening apple farming in northern India, particularly in the Himalayan region
  • Researchers confirmed the presence of the codling moth in North India, previously only found in the Ladakh region, using morpho-molecular characterization
  • The codling moth completes three generations per year in Kashmir, with each cycle lasting up to 2.5 months, influenced by local weather conditions
Apple farming is crucial for the livelihoods of many farmers, especially in northern India. However, the crop is increasingly threatened by various insect pests, which have become more problematic due to erratic weather patterns. One such threat is the codling moth (Cydia pomonella L.), which has recently caused significant damage in the Himalayan region of India. A study conducted by the Faculty of Agriculture, Wadura, at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K) aimed to identify and understand this pest to better manage and mitigate its impact[1]. The codling moth is a well-known pest that affects apples, pears, and other pome fruits. It is considered one of the 100 worst invasive alien species globally due to its destructive nature[2]. The study involved collecting invasive fruit samples from apple orchards in North India using delta sticky traps and rearing the larvae and pupae in controlled laboratory conditions. The investigation confirmed that the invasive pest was indeed the codling moth, previously only of quarantine importance in India and primarily found in the Ladakh region. The study used morpho-molecular characterization to identify the pest, revealing that the codling moths in the experimental sites were genetically similar to those from Leh, India. This finding suggests that the pest has expanded its range, likely facilitated by changing climatic conditions. Previous research has shown that climate change can reduce barriers for the establishment and distribution of invasive species, making it easier for pests like the codling moth to spread[3]. The research also examined the life cycle and voltinism (number of generations per year) of the codling moth in Kashmir. It was found that the moth completes three generations per year, with a single cycle lasting up to 2.5 months. The timing of these generations varies based on local weather conditions. Understanding the life cycle is crucial for identifying vulnerable points in the pest's development that can be targeted for effective management. This study aligns with earlier findings that emphasize the importance of accurate pest risk assessment for international trade and agricultural management. For instance, mechanistic and correlative niche models have been used to predict the global distribution of the codling moth, highlighting areas at risk and informing monitoring and quarantine efforts[4]. Additionally, climate models have projected that climate change will expand the potential distribution of the codling moth, particularly in northern regions[5]. The findings from SKUAST-K's study provide valuable insights into the management of the codling moth in apple orchards. By understanding the pest's life cycle and genetic makeup, farmers and agricultural agencies can develop targeted strategies to mitigate its impact. This could include timing interventions to disrupt the moth's life cycle or implementing quarantine measures to prevent its spread. In conclusion, the research conducted by SKUAST-K sheds light on the growing threat of the codling moth to apple farming in northern India. By integrating these findings with previous studies on pest distribution and climate change, it becomes clear that a comprehensive approach is needed to manage this invasive species effectively. This will not only protect the livelihoods of farmers but also ensure the sustainability of apple production in the region.



Main Study

1) Morphomolecular characterization of invasive fruit borer infesting apple.

Published 25th May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Mapping the Potential Global Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella L.) Distribution Based on a Machine Learning Method.


3) Effect of Climate Change on Introduced and Native Agricultural Invasive Insect Pests in Europe.


4) Assessing the Global Risk of Establishment of Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) using CLIMEX and MaxEnt Niche Models.


5) Projecting the Global Potential Distribution of Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) Under Historical and RCP4.5 Climate Scenarios.


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