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Laspeyresia Molesta as an Apple Pest

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The extent of injury to apples, types of feeding, egg laying habits and late egg parasitism.

Laspeyresia Molesta has been reported1 as a pest of apples but in the experience of the authors has never attained the commercial damage heretofore in Maryland that it has occasioned this past season.

Examination of the orchard at College Park about the first of October showed a peculiar type of injury at the stem end in a large per cent of the cull fruit examined. Frequently this injury was a small split or abraded place near the base of the stem. Sometimes the injury was almost completely hidden by the stem being in contact along one side.

In all cases, however, careful examination showed minute particles of frass near the base of the stem.

Further examination disclosed that many fruits had minute particles of frass almost hidden by the calyx lobes. On cutting these injured fruits larvae in all stages, but principally in the early instars, were found. The tunnels were of two types. Usually the larvae burrowed through the fruit towards the seed cavity, sometimes directly; at other times winding channels were cut and often the entire seed capsule was destroyed, together with some of the seeds, as well. The second type followed the characteristic tunelling of the lesser apple worm just beneath the skin. These areas ran from the size of a dime to mines extending form the stem to near the calyx and involved nearly a quarter of the surface. When more than one larva was present, the apple broke down completely through a combination of soft rots and the feeding by the larvae.

In leaving the fruit the worm usually cuts a sharply defined circular exit hole, often near the stem or calyx end and constructs its hibernaculum in the basin between adjacent fruits or between the slats of the basket or in the pad.

This injury at College led to examination of cull apples from every part of the state except the extreme western counties. The apples showing evidence of worms were cut, the larvae collected and determined. The following table shows the relative proportion of codling moth and oriental fruit moth larvae in cull fruits.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1927

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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