LBAM (Light Brown Apple Moth)
Light Brown Apple Moth
- K. Frankie Lam, Ph.D., Entomologist,
The University of California Cooperative Extension, Monterey County
The light brown apple moth (LBAM), Epiphysis postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is an exotic and invasive moth in the United States. It is a concern because the larvae of LBAM feed on a wide range of plants, including fruit crops, vegetables, ornamentals, and broad-leaf weeds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) have issued a press release on March 22, 2007 confirming the presence of LBAM in California. Its discovery in California is a new record to the mainland of North America.
The LBAM is native to Australia and has been introduced to Tasmania, New Caledonia, New Zealand, England, and Hawaii. The pest belongs to the leafrolling moth family (Tortricidae), which is the sixth largest family of butterflies and moths (Order Lepidoptera). Based on the information from Australia the moth is predicted to have two to four generations per year in California, depending on the latitude. The LBAM larvae feed on more than 250 plants and if the pest is established, the total loss of production and control cost has been estimated to be more than $130 million annually in California. The LBAM host list and the host list exempted from the Federal Quarantine Order are posted on the CDFA and USDA websites, respectively.
In North America, there are approximately 1,200 species of leafrolling moths. Many of these moths are gray, tan, or brown in color and have 1/3 to 1 1/3 inches wingspan. Based on their morphology, it is very difficult to identify the LBAM from the other leafroller moths in California ( Light Brown Apple Moth and Common Leafroller in California ). This is because the LBAM moths always exhibit considerable variations in the wing pattern among individuals within the species. There is no comprehensive key to identify the eggs, larvae, and pupae of leafrollers in California. In addition, no unique morphological feature has been identified to distinguish a LBAM larva from other leafroller larvae.
To date, the LBAM has only been discovered in some nurseries and captured by the pheromone-baited traps of the CDFA LBAM Project in urban areas of some counties in California. If insects suspected to be LBAM are observed on your plants, please contact the local Agricultural Commissioner the local University of California Cooperative Extension, or call the LBAM Project at1-800-491-1899. a proposed management program in nurseries , insecticides approved for the management of LBAM by the CDFA , and 20-page comprehensive information of the LBAM, please check the following articles and/or the linked websites.