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Trends in Entomology   Volumes    Volume 1 
The potato tubermoth in Israel
A review of its phenology, behavior, methodology, parasites, and control

Menachem J. Berlinger, Sarah Lebiush-Mordechi
Pages: 137 - 155
Number of pages: 19
Trends in Entomology
Volume 1 

Copyright © 1997 Research Trends. All rights reserved


The potato tubermoth (PTM), Phthorimaea operculella, is a key pest of potatoes, in the field and in storage, in warm countries. In some places it also attacks processing tomatoes in the field. The adult moth and immature stages are described along with their biology and behavior. Adult moths are attracted to light and pheromone baited traps. Moth catches are very low throughout the cold period, increase in spring and peak up during June-July, then decrease again towards winter. Its distribution among the plants is highly aggregated, on the plant the PTM prevails mainly in the lower, hidden parts of the canopy. The larva mines inside the leaf tissue. When the leaves senescence, the larvae move to the potato tubers or tomato fruit, tunnels into them and inflict severe damage. Methods to handle, rear, and perform field and laboratory experiments, are described. The mode of PTM behavior makes chemical control application very difficult. Cultural and various biological control measures are described and an overall IPM program is suggested.

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