J.M. Collet , S. Pérennec
Caterpillars can make damages on artichoke leaves, but also on the heads. Damages on heads consist on injured, twisted or perforated bracts; whatever the damages are, the concerned heads become non-commercial.
On artichoke, caterpillar damages became economically important only around 2000. All varieties are concerned, but most of the damages concern the cultivar Violet de Provence, particularly when it is harvested in bunches. Aphids control is more and more practised with specific aphicids, which don’t kill the auxiliary fauna; but these treatments don’t harm the caterpillars, which then can cause heavy losses.
In spite of the presence of several species, the main one met in Brittany is Autographa gamma. This species is a migrant one, which usually spends the winter in southern Europe; it can be trapped from May to September, and remains the main species from May to September, when it is joined by other species, like Helicoverpa armigera.
The fact that A. gamma was the main involved species was established with the help of the trappings made by the Agriculture Chamber; they show that there are well synchronised flights at a regional scale, and that there is a good correlation between these flights and the reported damages. Alternatively, the trials made in CATE show that it’s possible to significantly diminish the amounts of the damages by taking into account the trapped A. gamma flights to control the caterpillars.
Treatments are recommended within a few days following a flight, to target the newly hatched caterpillars. Pyrethroids and Bacillus thuringiensis both are satisfying solutions, but pyrethroids tend to eliminate the natural auxiliary fauna, and can favour aphids increase.
Collet , J.M. and Pérennec, S. (2012). MOTHS PROBLEMS ON ARTICHOKE (CYNARA SCOLYMUS) IN BRITTANY. Acta Hortic. 942, 191-194
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.942.24
caterpillar, Autographa gamma, trap, France

Acta Horticulturae