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The Citrus Cutworm, Xylomyges curialis Grote: Economics, Biology, and Control1

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The adult citrus cutworm, Xylomyges curialis Grote, was described in 1873 from a specimen taken in California. Economic damage to citrus was first reported in 1934 in central California. Since then, this cutworm has caused extensive damage to citrus in several areas of the State's citrus belt. In uncontrolled infested citrus groves as much as 90% of the new flush of growth, 80% of the newly set fruit, and 50% of the ripening fruit has been damaged. Demy rapidly destroys ripening fruit which has been eaten into by the larvae. This insect has been collected in the United States (in Arizona, California, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Oregon and Washington) and in Canada (in British Columbia) from oak, antelope-brush, citrus, lupine, chickweed, and Persian walnut. In California, the moths emerge (mostly in March) from overwintering pupae, and eggs are deposited on foliage of citrus trees soon after emergence. The eggs hatch 5 to 10 days later, and each larva requires 3 to 6 weeks to become fully grown. The fully grown larva drops to the ground and pupates in an earthen cell in the soil at the base of the tree. The primary difference between the citrus cutworm and other cutworms that attack citrus is that the former oviposits on citrus foliage and its larvae feed entirely on citrus trees, whereas the latter build up on cover crops in citrus groves and then move to the trees to complete their feeding cycle. If 10 or more citrus cutworms arc found on a per-hour-search basis, it is practical to treat. Nine insecticides plus three combinations of these were utilized in the experiments reported here. Current recommendations developed from these tests for controlling citrus cutworms include anyone of the following formulas: DDT or TDE (DDD) at .5 pounds actual ingredient per acre; toxaphene at 6 pounds actual ingredient per acre; and parathion at 2 pounds actual ingredient per acre. Each of these insecticides provides adequate commercial control when properly applied as an outside coverage spray.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1958

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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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