European Grapevine Moth

The European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana (Den. and Schiff.)) is the principal native pest of grape berries in Europe. It was found in Napa County, California in 2009 and has since spread to six additional counties suggesting it is well established. The goal of our study was to predict the potential geographic distribution and relative abundance of this pest in California.

European Grapevine Moth System
European grapevine moth PBDM/GIS analysis of the grape and European grapevine moth. The maps shows the potential geographic distribution and abundance of the pest in North America (California) and in the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.

The biology of L. botrana was reviewed and data from the literature were used to formulate and parameterize a distributed maturation time, physiologically-based demographic model that was linked to a model for grapevine growth and development. Historical weather data from 118 locations in California for the period 1995-2006 were used to drive the model.  The simulation data were mapped using Grass GIS. The model was also used to evaluate the efficacy of mating disruption pheromone for its control.

The model predicts that L. botrana will spread statewide (and beyond) with the highest populations expected in southern California and the lower half of the Central Valley. Pheromone for L. botrana mating disruption are easy to use and have a long period of action, but they may not be effective at high pest densities and insecticide use may be required until populations decline regionally.  Our analysis suggests that the greatest benefit of pheromone use would accrue from targeting adults emerging from winter diapause pupae and the first summer generation.

Two climate warming scenarios that increase observed average temperatures 2º and 3ºC suggest the geographic range and pest levels will increase in the Northern California and the agriculturally rich Central Valley, but will decrease in the hot deserts of Southern California.


Gutierrez, Andrew Paul, Luigi Ponti, Mark Hoddle, Rodrigo P.P. Almeida and Nicola A. Irvin (submitted). Evaluation of the factors affecting the geographic distribution and abundance of glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis Germar) and two egg parasitoids in California– Environ. Entomol. 40(4):755-769.

Gutierrez A.P., Ponti L., Cooper M.L., Gilioli G., Baumgärtner J., Duso C., 2012. Prospective analysis of the invasive potential of the European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Den. & Schiff.) in California. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 14: 225-238.

Gutierrez, A.P., K.M. Daane, Luigi Ponti, Vaughn M. Walton, C.K. Ellis, (2007) Prospective evaluation of the biological control of the vine mealybug: refuge effects. J. Appl. Ecol. 44: 1-13.

Wermelinger, B. , J. Baumgärtner and A.P. Gutierrez. 1991. A demographic model of assimilation and allocation of carbon and nitrogen in grapevines. Ecol. Modelling 53: 1-26.

Gutierrez, A. P., D. W. Williams and H. Kido. 1985. A model of grape growth and development: the mathematical structure and biological considerations. Crop Sci. 25: 721-728.