Synonyms Numerous, see text Ectomyelois ceratoniae, the locust bean moth, more ambiguously known as " carob moth ", is a moth of the family Pyralidae. It has a nearly cosmopolitan distribution. Adults have forewings with a pale brown pattern, and plain white hindwings. The female moths find suitable fruit or nuts on which to lay their eggs using volatile substances emitted by fungus which is infecting the material. The larvae are translucent white, with the internal organs visible from the outside. They feed on the seeds and pods of a wide range of plants, including Punica granatum , Citrus fruit, Pistacia vera , Juglans regia , Prunus dulcis , Macadamia integrifolia , Acacia farnesiana , Caesalpinia sappan , Cassia bicapsularis , Ricinus , Erythrina monosperma , Haematoxylum campechianum , Prosopis juliflora , Samanea saman , Phoenix dactylifera , and Ceratonia siliqua.

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Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola , Lepidoptera , Pyralidae. Common name: Carob moth. Host plants: Polyphagous. In the field the pest develops mainly in Acacia farnesiana Linnaeus, carobs, dates and figs. In storage it infests almonds and diverse nuts. Morphology: The adult moth is about 0.

The fully grown larva is mm long, pink, has a brown head and with segmental protuberances that bear small setae. Life cycle: Females of the first generation lay their eggs on the developing pods of A. A female lays eggs in about one month, it fecundity being affected by yhe host plsants.

The hatched larvae enter into any available openings or cracks in the fruit, wherein they feed without harming the seeds. They often remain there even after harvest, thus invading storage facilities. The pest develops especially in storage throughout the entire year, pupating where they had fed.

During summer the pest oviposits on citrus fruit, preferring grapefruits, especially when infested by mealybugs , to whose honeydew the moths are attracted, or on fruits that touch each other. The larvae burrow into the fruit but cannot complete their development and die.

The pest completes annual generations, each requring 1. Acacia pods and left-over almonds serve as overwintering sites, within which the larvae hibernate.

Females attract males by a pheromone that is usually produced from about midnight till dawn, most oviposition occurring right after sunset. Economic importance: The larvae are serious pests of almonds, carobs, dates as well as various nuts in storage. Damage is due to burrowing within these fruits, with attendant webs, frass , molts and molds.

As the pest can live in stores the year around, the longer a certain infested commodity is stored, the greater the injury. In the field E. Infested fruits secrete a sticky gum that kills the larvae. Thus the carob moth is a fruit moth. Cultural control: As the pest develops on A. Controlled atmospheres lower oxygen levels along with elevated CO2 concentrations greatly curtail pest development.

Almond Infestation can be reduced by early harvesting, before the first generation moths can attack them and by removing dropped carobs. Sterile male technique SIT : This approach is being tried in Iran in orderr to control the moth attcking pomegranates.

Chemical control: Pyrethroids can control the carob moth attacking palm dates in the field, if applied during fruit color change mid-August and weeks later. Best results may be obtained if the pesticides are sprayed prior to moth oviposition, right after sunset.

In plantations that protect date bunches by mesh nettings, the pesticide is applied just prior to covering. Organophosphate sprays aimed against mealybugs may also control the carob moth on grapefruit, but only as long as the pest had not penetrated into the fruit. The organophosphate malathion can protect dates in storage.

Essential oils are also very efficient in date palm groves. However, parasitization of larvae in Acacia and citrus is very low. The combination of a Bacillus thuriengiensis Bt product and the ectoparasitoid Habrobracon hebetor Say Braconidae in stored dates provided satisfactory pest control in North Africa.

References Al-Malikv, S. Parasites of Ectomyelois ceratoniae with biological studies on Apanteles sp. Entomophaga 31 Blumberg, D. Date palm arthropod pests and their management in Israel. Phytoparasitica Calderon, M. Ectomyelois ceratoniae Zell. Journal of Stored Products Research 4: Dhouibi, M. Lutte biologique en entrepot contre la pyrale Ectomyelois ceratoniae, ravageur des dates.

Gothilf, S. Release and recovery of imported parasites of the carob moth Spectrobates ceratoniae Lepidoptera: Pyralidae in Israel.

Israel Journal of Entomology Kehat, M. Experiments with synthetic sexpheromones for the control of the raisin moth, and for monitoringthe carob moth in date plantations. Reproductive behavior of the female carob moth, Lepidoptera: Pyralidae. Pan-Pacific Entomologist Warner, R. Chemical control of a carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae lepidoptera, Pyralidae , and various nitidulid beetles Coleoptera on Deglet Noor dates in California.

Journal of Economic Entomology


EPPO Global Database

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola , Lepidoptera , Pyralidae. Common name: Carob moth. Host plants: Polyphagous. In the field the pest develops mainly in Acacia farnesiana Linnaeus, carobs, dates and figs. In storage it infests almonds and diverse nuts.


Ectomyelois ceratoniae

Zolfagharieh, A. Babaii, H. Mostafavi, Z. Tabatabaii, H. Fatholahi Abstract Iran is the first producer and exporter of pomegranate in the world.

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