FEATURED INFORMATION

Prays oleae

Manuel José Ruiz Torres

Jaén Laboratory for Plant Health and Production. Andalusian Agency for Agriculture and Fisheries Management. Government of Andalucia

The olive moth or prays (Prays oleae) is a lepidopteran pest of the olive tree that has three generations per year. Its larvae cause varying degrees of damage to the crop: the phyllophagous generation causes very little damage; the antophagous generation destroys flowers, and the carpophagous generation damages the actual harvest. This pest probably requires the most work and control from olive producers in many olive-growing regions of Spain. Therefore, it has been one of the focuses since integrated pest management programmes began.

The olive moth or prays (Prays oleae) is a lepidopteran pest of the olive tree that has three generations per year. Its larvae cause varying degrees of damage to the crop: the phyllophagous generation causes very little damage; the antophagous generation destroys flowers, and the carpophagous generation damages the actual harvest. This pest probably requires the most work and control from olive producers in many olive-growing regions of Spain. Therefore, it has been one of the focuses since integrated pest management programmes began.

Under current criteria for integrated pest management, all three generations of Prays oleae are evaluated. The monitoring process includes sampling the parts of the tree that are sensitive to pest at each stage (leaves, flowers and fruits) and recording the presence of eggs or larvae, and using funnel traps with a sex pheromone lure to determine the flight curve.

This type of monitoring enables precise treatment decisions to be made according to environmental parameters (climate, production) and the biology of the species (population size, point in the biological cycle).

Treatment against the phyllophagous generation, given its low impact, is only advised when the plant is very small. For the antophagous generation, a direct control measure is implemented when the population reaches a certain size and flowering is poor (>5% of flowers with live individuals and <10 flowers per inflorescence). This reduces the number of treatments because flowering is generally good, which means that the actual damage to the crop is low. Finally, with the carpophagous generation, the population size is assessed and treatment is applied when live individuals are present on over 20% of fruits.

In all cases, treatments must be applied at the right time to be effective, in accordance with integrated pest management procedures.

Farmers can use a wide range of methods to control Prays oleae. These include biological control methods using microorganisms such as Bacillus thuringiensis or predators such as the common green lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea). There are also numerous species of predators and parasitoids among the insect life of the olive tree that can control populations when the agrosystem is managed appropriately. Moreover, there are more chemical control products registered for this pest than any other, including several pyrethroid and organophosphate insecticides.

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In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.