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Dispersal ability in codling moth: mark–release–recapture experiments and kinship analysis


John T. Margaritopoulos; Tel.: +30 242 1056 5283; fax: +30 241 0565 290; e-mail:


  • 1The present study focused on the dispersal patterns in the codling moth because such information is fundamental for determining the dynamics and genetics of the pest populations and for developing efficient management programmes.
  • 2We implemented mark–release–recapture experiments (MRR) with both male and female codling moths of two laboratory and one wild population using a sex pheromone and pear ester as attractants in delta traps. The experiments were conducted in apple orchards in central Greece over two consecutive years (2007–2008). In addition, kinship assignment tests were applied on 303 genotyped individuals (11 microsatellite loci) from two contiguous apple orchards in central Greece aiming to estimate the dispersal of fertilized females.
  • 3Both MRR and kinship analysis revealed that most male and female adults dispersed within 80 m, whereas some individuals moved at longer distances (maximum distance of approximately 200 m). A Bayesian analysis on microsatellite data revealed that exchange rates of codling moths between neighbouring orchards ranged among generations from 17.6 to 32.7%. The exchange rate between these orchards estimated by kinship analysis was 25.6% over all generations.
  • 4The collected data confirm the view of the sedentary nature of coding moth and indicate that genotypes able to migrate at long distances are not present in the studied area. The availability of food resources within orchards during the growing season is one possible factor that could favour this sedentary behaviour.