Annual flight activity of Dioryctria mendacella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in southern Portugal

Pedro Naves, Filomena Nóbrega, Edmundo de Sousa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pine cone moth, Dioryctria mendacella, is one of the most important pests affecting cones of Mediterranean pines in southern Europe. The larvae cause damages to cone tissues and seeds, but despite its pest status, the biology of D. mendacella is largely unknown, specifically the seasonal flight activity of the adults. To overcome this, we studied the annual flight activity of D. mendacella in southern Portugal with traps baited with the sex pheromone. Fifteen white delta sticky traps were placed on the lower branches of grafted Pinus pinea trees, and pyralid moths were collected weekly for one year. We captured a total of 3.555 individuals, corresponding to a flight period from February to early December. Initial captures were relatively low but subsequently increased during the summer and early autumn months, and peaking in September. However, no captures occurred from early December to late February. Multiple regression analysis detected a positive and significant correlation between moth captures and temperatures at dusk, suggesting a dominant twilight/nocturnal flight activity for D. mendacella. Overall, we conclude that Delta traps baited with the sexual pheromone are effective in capturing adult moths of D. mendacella throughout the year, and our results suggest the occurrence of two (or more) annual generations for this pest, supporting similar inferences from other studies. The use of traps baited with sex-pheromones is a new tool for the development of integrated pest management strategies against D. mendacella, offering also the possibility of studying in detail the biology and population dynamics of this pest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Flight phenology
  • Pheromone-baited traps
  • Pine cone moth
  • Pinus pinea
  • Portugal


Dive into the research topics of 'Annual flight activity of Dioryctria mendacella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in southern Portugal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this