It has just lately been reported to the writer that Syringopais (Nochelodes) temperatella, Led., a Microlepidopteron of the family Oecophoridae, has again in Cyprus begun to assume the rôle of a major pest. Little work seems to have been done on this insect anywhere, so that it may be worth while to give a few notes on one or two interesting points that have lately been brought to light with regard to it.
On first appointment to the island, in 1923, the writer was given to understand that Nochelodes temperatella was the greatest insect pest with which the impoverished and struggling farmer had to deal ; but that this is indeed the whole truth was not entirely borne out by enquiries during the years 1924, 1925, and early 1926, for it was found that no serious endeavour to deal with the insect on the lines previously advocated by the Agricultural Department had ever been made, despite the fact that cultural methods only had been advocated, and in addition such as could easily have been carried out with the exercise of no great energy.
Broadly, the life-history of the insect is as follows :—The adults are on the wing in the late spring or early summer, some little time before the wheat is cut. It is supposed that the eggs are laid in the soil—certainly they are to be found in the soil—and that they there persist through the hot weather, hatching some time during the winter, and the larvae immediately proceeding to attack the young wheat. The pest becomes really noticeable only towards the spring, when sometimes whole areas of wheat are virtually destroyed. Pupation takes place in the soil.
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