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Two species of caterpillars Conogethes pluto Butler and Conogethes punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) have become major pests of Alpinia and other ornamental gingers in the Northern Territory (NT) and Queensland, Australia. These pests damage the flowers and bore into and kill the stems, causing substantial losses to production. Current production is estimated at approximately $AUD1 million per annum. It is difficult to kill the stem-boring larvae of Conogethes spp. with insecticides, so it is necessary to target sprays to the young larvae, when for the brief period after hatching when they are still on the flowers and leaves. As the generations overlap in the field, it is also necessary to spray for several consecutive weeks to break the life cycle. Pheromones could be used for detecting the presence of Conogethes spp., monitoring their populations, and for reduction in populations and damage using mating disruption or lure and kill techniques.

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