American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Behaviour Patterns of the Pine Processionary Moth (Thaumetopoea wilkinsoni Tams; Lepidoptera: Thaumetopoeidae)

Ahmad Houri and Dany Doughan

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2006.1.5

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 1, Issue 1

Pages 1-5


Thaumetopoea wilkinsoni is a serious pest of pine trees, especially the wide-spread Pinus brutia. This infestation has a significant economic impact both in the loss of forest wood growth and in medical expenses for treating related human diseases. This paper presents a detailed study of the behaviour patterns of the moth stage in an attempt to identify best control methods. Several key observations are made towards the moth emergence timing and period of nocturnal activity. Specifically, 92% of the moths were found to be most active between midnight and 6:00 a.m. Effects of light traps vs. pheromone traps are analyzed and light traps were found to be 15 times more efficient. In addition, 84% of the captured moths were males and only 16% were females. Several attempts were made to lure females into traps but were mostly unsuccessful. Finally, moth emergence in relevance to various weather conditions was analyzed and a clear relationship was established where rain appeared to motivate moth emergence. This work has been done over the span of two consecutive years. A clear mode of action is deduced for the best methods of moth control.


© 2006 Ahmad Houri and Dany Doughan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.