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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: PROTECTION OF SUBTROPICAL AND TROPICAL AGRICULTURE COMMODITIES AND ORNAMENTALS FROM EXOTIC INSECTS

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

2008 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The long-term objective of this project is to develop trapping and control components and systems for integrated pest management of exotic pest insects in the Caribbean, Central and South America that pose a threat to U.S. agriculture.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Research will consist of field and laboratory studies to determine the life history, distribution and host range of exotic insect pests; to identify semiochemicals; and to conduct studies on the behavioral and physiological roles of semiochemicals on these pests and associated biocontrol organisms. Strategies will include development of attractant-based technologies and systems for detecting, delimiting and monitoring exotic pest insects, and for establishing and enhancing management programs for these insects.


3.Progress Report
Small scale field trials of bait stations for fruit fly control. Field tests were initiated in a guava orchard to compare suppression of caribflies using bait stations developed by Subtropical Horticulture Research scientists with mass trapping using traps baited with a two component synthetic food-based lure. Population levels in these plots were compared to levels in an untreated control plot as determined by fruit sampling and overnight capture of caribflies in traps baited with liquid protein bait. These indirect measures of assessing field efficacy have been successful. This accomplishment addresses National Program 308 Methyl Bromide Alternatives, Component 2: Postharvest Commodity Treatment (Including Structural), Problem Statement 2C: Develop Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Disinfestation of Post-Harvest Perishable Commodities.

Fruit fly antennal response to putrescine using Electroantennography (EAG). EAG was used to quantify antennal response of the Caribbean fruit fly to a commercial putrescine lure. EAG recordings from known-aged flies were used to construct dose-response curves for putrescine alone and in combination with an ammonium bicarbonate lure. This accomplishment addresses National Program 308 Methyl Bromide Alternatives, Component 2: Postharvest Commodity Treatment (Including Structural), Problem Statement 2C: Develop Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Disinfestation of Post-Harvest Perishable Commodities.

Efficacy of combinations of putrescine and cadaverine with ammonium acetate. Field tests were conducted to determine efficacy of attractants containing ammonium acetate with cadaverine alone or in combination with putrescine. Capture of the Caribbean fruit fly tended to be greater in traps baited with all three components, and this was more pronounced in tests with higher pest populations. This accomplishment addresses National Program 308 Methyl Bromide Alternatives, Component 2: Postharvest Commodity Treatment (Including Structural), Problem Statement 2C: Develop Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Disinfestation of Post-Harvest Perishable Commodities.

Development of artificial diet for the pest weevil, Myllocerus undecimpustulatus undatus. The Myllocerus weevil is a new pest for the US that causes heavy damage to foliage in landscape plantings. Laboratory studies were conducted to determine if artificial diet developed for other root weevils could be used for laboratory rearing of this insect. Several diet formulations were screened and new protocols implemented that resulted in successful rearing of this insect from egg to adult. This accomplishment addresses National Program 308 Methyl Bromide Alternatives, Component 2: Postharvest Commodity Treatment (Including Structural), Problem Statement 2C: Develop Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Disinfestation of Post-Harvest Perishable Commodities.


4.Accomplishments
1. Signature chemicals for detection of hidden insect infestation. Quarantine inspectors at US ports visually check produce shipments by manually cutting open a small sample (typically 2% or less) of fruit to search for infestation. Studies were conducted to determine if gas chromatography (GC) could be used to improve detection of hidden pest infestations. We examined grapefruit infested with the Caribbean fruit fly larvae and found that infested fruit emitted a chemical profile distinct from that of non-infested fruit. This “signature” can be exploited to provide the basis for development of rapid, reliable screening protocols for use by port inspectors and regulatory agencies to improve US quarantine security.

This accomplishment addresses National Program 308 Methyl Bromide Alternatives, Component 2: Postharvest Commodity Treatment (Including Structural), Problem Statement 2C: Develop Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Disinfestation of Post-Harvest Perishable Commodities.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
None


6.Technology Transfer

Number of Non-Peer Reviewed Presentations and Proceedings8

Review Publications
Epsky, N.D., Weissling, T.J., Meerow, A.W., Heath, R.R. 2008. Life History and Damage of a new Baradinae Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on Amaryllis. Florida Entomologist. 91(2):214-219.

Kaushalya, A.G., Catharine, M.M., Lance, O., Epsky, N.D. 2008. Development, survival, and reproduction of Paracoccus marginatus (Homoptera:Pseudococcidae)on different host plant species.Environmental Entomology.37(3):630-635.

Thomas, D.B., Epsky, N.D., Serra, C.A., Hall, D.G., Kendra, P.E., Heath, R.R. 2008. Ammonia formulations and capture of Anastrepha fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Entomological Science. 43:76-85.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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