Within-Canopy Distribution of Stenoma catenifer (Lepidoptera: Elachistidae) Infestation in Avocado Orchards

Alessandra M. Vacari, Felipe Damato, Bruno Gomes Dami, Mateus Levi Feliz De Lima, Lucas S.M.Ubiali Lima, Gustavo Pincerato Figueiredo, Eder De Oliveira Cabral, Cesar Rodriguez-Saona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Native to the neotropics, the avocado seed moth Stenoma catenifer Walsingham (Lepidoptera: Elachistidae) is a specialist pest of the family Lauraceae and considered one of the most important pests of avocados worldwide. However, little is known regarding its spatial distribution within a single tree. Therefore, we designed a study to evaluate the effects of canopy height and aspect (i.e., side of the tree) on fruit infestation by S. catenifer larvae in avocados. The study was conducted in three commercial organic avocado orchards located in São Paulo, Brazil. At each orchard, 40 fruit from 30 random trees were sampled weekly from October 2017 through February 2018, evaluating the number of fruits infested by S. catenifer larvae at three tree heights (bottom, middle, and top). In addition, fruits on the ground were also sampled. We also evaluated the effect of the side of the tree where the fruits were collected, i.e., whether they were on the side facing the east (sunrise) or the west (sunset). Within the avocado canopy, the level of fruit infestation by S. catenifer larvae was significantly higher at the top of the trees than in the middle and bottom. Fruit on the ground had lower levels of infestation than those on the tree canopy. The level of fruit infestation was also higher on the side of avocado trees facing the east (sunrise). Understanding the within-tree distribution of S. catenifer will help to better target monitoring and control activities against this pest in avocados.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalJournal of Insect Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Insect Science


  • avocado seed moth
  • canopy aspect
  • canopy height
  • integrated pest management


Dive into the research topics of 'Within-Canopy Distribution of Stenoma catenifer (Lepidoptera: Elachistidae) Infestation in Avocado Orchards'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this