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Etiella moth flights looming

Etiella moth activity is likely to have commenced in northern parts of the Victorian Mallee this week, and in other regions in the next 7-14 days

Etiella moth (left) and caterpillar on damaged pods (right) (Source: SARDI)


Where have they been reported?

The very occasional Etiella moth has been seen in lentil crops in the Victorian Wimmera but no other reports have been received from Victorian or New South Wales. The threshold has been exceeded in several areas of South Australia.

About Etiella

Etiella, also known as the lucerne seed web moth (Etiella behrii), is a sporadic but serious pest of lentils in southern Australia.

For comprehensive information on Etiella that affect lentil crops, including their occurrence, lifecycle, behaviour and management strategies, go to Lucerne seed web moth, within the new PestNote series.

Predicted moth activity

The Etiella degree-day model predicts peak Etiella moth flight periods based on local temperatures. This can be used as a guide for when to commence monitoring.

As of 5th October 2015, cumulative degree-days based on actual temperatures and the approximate threshold date for Etiella flight activity based on 20 years of average temperature data at some lentil cropping areas were:

  • Horsham (Vic) – 301 dd (about 14th October)
  • Swan Hill (Vic) – 351 dd (about 3rd October)
  • Elmore (Vic) – 252 dd (about 22nd October) and
  • Wagga Wagga (NSW) – 279 dd (about 17th October).

The date when the cumulative total of degree-days (dd) first reaches 351 is the date to commence crop monitoring. The dates are only guides and will depend on temperatures over the next few weeks. Moth activity may occur either side of these dates. Refer to PestFacts Issue No. 10 for further details of the Etiella model and how to use it.


Sources of field reports of Etiella

Ben Cordes – Agronomist, Tylers Hardware & Rural Supplies (Victorian Wimmera)

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