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J Econ Entomol. 2005 Oct;98(5):1531-8.

Performance of irradiated Teia anartoides (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) in urban Auckland, New Zealand.

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HortResearch, P.O. Box 51, Lincoln, New Zealand.


The Australian moth Teia anartoides Walker has been the target of a major eradication program in Auckland, New Zealand. Information on cold torpor and dispersal was needed to help interpret catches of sterile and wild males in female-baited delta traps operated in a grid of up to 1,696 traps at 500-m spacings across the city. Laboratory experiments indicated male flight was enabled at temperatures above 17 degrees C (confirmed by field trapping of wild and recaptured moths). Male survival in the field or in field cages was determined to be limited to approximately 4 d. Sterilization of males for dispersal studies was achieved by exposing male pupae to either 160 or 100 Gy by using 1.25 MeV gamma rays from a Cobalt source, before release as fluorescent-dyed emerged adults. Dispersal was determined by recapture of males in the trapping grid of 1,696 delta traps baited with virgin female moths and placed at spacings of 50-500 m. Irradiated sterile males dispersed up to a maximum recorded distance of 4,500 m (160 Gy) and 10,000 m (100 Gy). At 100 Gy, the median dispersal distance was 300 m, with 90% of males dispersing 1,600 m or less.

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