Melon fly / Myiopardalis pardalina

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Melon fly / Myiopardalis pardalina

Quarantine pest. The larvae are mainly pests of fruits, less often seeds of the following plants: melon, watermelon, snake melon, cucumber, wild melon (Cucumis trigonus), mad cucumber.

Fruit damage in the distribution zone of the species in some years can reach up to 50-70% or even 100 %. Nature of damage: in places of punctures of the ovipositor, tubercles are visible. In places where the larvae exit, there are rounded holes. When opening the fetus, brown-rusty winding passages are found. Affected fruits rot.

The flight season coincides with the period of fruit formation in forage plants. At this time, the temperature of the soil where puparia overwinter reaches + 20°C. The pest is observed from early June to mid-October. They feed on fruit juice. The life span of an adult is 2 months. Places of punctures of the pulp can serve as a medium for the development of viral and fungal diseases. The first signs of melon fly damage are the appearance of small lumpy spots or just bumps in the places where the fruit is bitten. Later, after the development of larvae, the internal rotting of the fruit begins. Damaged fruits tend to rot and become unsuitable for further use.

The larva burrows deep into the fruit, feeds on seeds and pulp. After finishing feeding, the larvae leave the fruit, drilling its walls. Larvae pupate in the soil. Adults emerge from the puparia, feed, mate, and lay eggs. It develops from two to three generations per year.

The melon fly is widespread in Russia. In addition, the pest's range covers Eastern Transcaucasia, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and India.


Proper use of Pheromone Traps:

The pheromone trap is designed to monitor and reduce pest numbers. In order to determine the population density of pest insects and to identify pest outbreaks (monitoring), it is recommended to use 1 trap per 1 ha.

The trap should be placed as near the culture at the middle of the plant.  Prior to the first flight of the flies, the traps must be checked on a daily basis, and after the first flieshave been captured, the traps must be checked every 5-7 days. Pheromone dispensers can be changed after 4-6 weeks and sticky tapes can be replaced when is full with pests and dust. Protective measures are based on the results of the monitoring of population density of pest insects.

Trap placement:

For mass capture and sterilization of males, it is recommended to have more than 20 traps per hectare in opened field. In case of a large number of pest insects use 30 traps per 1 ha in opened field. In greenhouses it is recommended to have more than 15 traps per hectare. In case of a large number of pest insects use 20 traps per 1 ha.