Phone: +27 082 765 0090
BSc (Hons) Rhodes University (2013)
Improving the cold tolerance of false codling moth through diet manipulation for improved performance in a sterile insect release programme.
Claire completed her Honours in Entomology at Rhodes University in 2013. Her current research is in agricultural entomology, focused on finding a way to improve the cold tolerance of sterile male false codling moth. This will improve the effectiveness of a control option known as sterile insect technique (SIT), where by male moths are irradiated, which make them sterile (unfertile), and then mass released into citrus orchids where they then mate with wild females resulting in unfertilized eggs. There is a defect in the SIT programme whereby irradiated male moths weaken, due to the radiation treatment, and their tolerance for the cold lessens. This results in the moths being unable to compete for females with natural, wild male. Therefore, it is vital to improve their cold tolerance and allow them to compete even in the cooler months of the year as to maximize the effect of the SIT programme. It is vital to control false coding moth as South Africa may soon not be able to export its citrus to large markets such as Europe. High levels of insecticide use are also a problem and in some cases results in the development of resistance in the false coding moth, thus the need for more effective biological control practices.
Last Modified: Tue, 07 Apr 2015 12:42:26 SAST