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Sexual pheromone diffuser of the species Spodoptera Littoralis  to attract males, with a duration of 40 days in normal field conditions...

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Data sheet

Target pest Egyptian cotton leafworm
Duration 40 days
OMDF register number 080/2013

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Sexual pheromone diffuser of the species Spodoptera Littoralis  to attract males, with a duration of 40 days in normal field conditions.

Diffuser of natural rubber in capsule-shape. It is packaged individually in an aluminium sachet with labelled instructions. Once taken out of the sachet, the diffuser does not need any activation operation. Simply place it directly in the trap

Spodoptera littoralis is a very polyphagous species that mainly affects horticultural crops and ornamental, trees, particularly in Mediterranean coastal areas and southern Spain. 

Normally the first adults begin to appear in spring although they are difficult to see because of their nocturnal habits, preferring to remain hidden during the day.

Crops affected:  Aubergine, marrow, green beans, melon, cucumber, pepper, watermelon, tomato, etc.



Egg: The eggs are deposited in masses or plates of 400 to 700 units (under favourable conditions) and are covered with a cotton-like mass of anal flakes from the female. Their approximate size is 0.5 mm.

Larva: It has a dark brown or black head.  The body is blackish in colour and has a velvety appearance. Each segment has a semi-lunar black lateral stain and the first segment also has four points like a necklace.  The first chest segments are darker than the rest of the body.  The thoracic feet (3 pairs) are black while the false abdominal feet (5 pairs) are dark brown on the outer side and clear in the inner side. In its final larval stage it can reach 3.5 cm in size.

Pupa: The pupa is reddish brown, spindle-shaped and has two hooks on the underside in the shape of a U that curve inwards.  It is 2 cm in size.

Adult: They have a wing span of 3 to 4.5 cm. They are light brown but are covered with multiple spots, with indistinct black and white markings on a grey background. The spots on the wings are narrow and indistinct. There is a light brown oblique mark in the middle of the wing that goes from the front edge up until it fades in the median nerves.

The rear wings are white and translucent except for the front, external edges that are brown in colour.

The caterpillars appear in late summer or at the beginning of autumn and their arrival coincide with the butterfly flights, although there is a continuous succession of generations in the warmer regions of south-east of Spain

The eggs are laid on the underside of the leaves.  However, eggs have also been noted on flower buds, on new shoots, a few inches above the ground and even on greenhouse structures (sticks, plastic items, etc.).

In their early larval stages the larvae are found in the tender parts of plants.  They avoid light and heat by taking refuge on the underside of the leaves.

SOURCE: Agricultural Council of Andalusia (Spain)



For detection and monitoring 1 trap should be set per hectare placed at crop level. Traps can be placed on a hanger for this purpose and should be set in spring.



Mostly the males of this species are captured, in order to reduce the mating, so that non-copulated females will have unviable eggs. This reduces the pest population.

To carry out mass trapping the number of traps per area should be increased depending on the location and homogeneity of the crops. One trap can control an area of between 500 and 1,000 m². This entails a trap density of 10 to 20 traps per hectare.



An ECONEX POLILLERO or EOSTRAP® trap, and a pheromone diffuser ECONEX SPODOPTERA LITTORALIS as attractant.



To achieve good control of the Spodoptera littoralis, it is advisable to combine the two methods: detection and monitoring and mass trapping. In spring you can place 1 to 2 traps per hectare to detect the pest and observe the level of their populations.

Through established thresholds of tolerance in each area, the control measures are later defined, in this case mass trapping. The threshold of tolerance for Spodoptera littoralis is very low and varies according to the area. Generally it is around 3 captures per trap and per week. Moment in which we recommend to set traps all over the crop for mass trapping.



DIRECT DAMAGE: The larvae in the first stages show gregarious behaviour gnawing the parenchyma of the underside of the leaves, and leaving the epidermis.  In the following larval stages they distance themselves devouring the leaves completely and causing severe defoliation.  They can also gnaw the stems while drilling galleries. Severe attacks can be observed through fruit damage.

INDIRECT DAMAGES: The wounds caused by this plague facilitate the entry of other pathogens (fungi, bacteria, etc.).


Pest population, adjoining crops, level of control required, etc.

An important factor is crop size. In small and irregular sized crops a greater number of traps will be needed. Another important factor is the distance between crops with the same pest. In such cases the crop boundaries should be reinforced, so a trap density of about 20 traps per hectare may be needed.  More traps may be needed in the case of mass trappings.



If technicians or farmers use the traps and pheromones as described here and when the first generation of adults emerges, then the effectiveness of this control system is very good, with a very low level of damage. When large crop areas are covered, more than 95% of the pest is often controlled.

A factor limiting this system is where there are small farms surrounded by other plots with a high level of infestation of this pest.  Apart from some important basic rules in controlling Spodoptera littoralis effectively, each farmer/technician should find his/her own system of achieving this and he/she may experiment with this system, even establishing his/her own tolerance thresholds.



The diffusers must be kept in their original container and in a refrigerator at 4oC, or in the freezer at -18oC, in which case they will remain valid for 2 and 4 years respectively.


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