Accepted 4th April, 2015
The Lesser Date Moth (LDM) Batrachedra amydraula (Meyrick) causes serious damage to date palms in the Middle East. Yield losses up to 50% have been reported in some countries. The sex pheromone is now available and could be used for monitoring in addition to the biocontrol alternative method. A first mass-trapping trial targeting LDM males was set up in the Sultanate of Oman in 2014. Results showed that the pheromone blend tested was very attractive with a minimum of 60 days activity: a total of 22,283 males were captured on 132 traps all over the season, i.e. from March to June 2014. An attack percentage between 7 to 12.5% was recorded in fruit drop counts. Bearing in mind the presence of highly susceptible cultivars in this trial, these first results look very promising. In 2015, the tests will be repeated with modified technology in order to develop a management strategy including pheromone in LDM control.
Keywords: Batrachedra amydraula, Lesser Date Moth, pheromone, mass trapping.