2011 Annual Report
The Mexican bromeliad weevil is an invasive pest that is leading to local extinctions of native bromeliads in natural areas of Florida. ARS provided access for University of Florida collaborators to gas chromatograph-coupled electroantennography (GC-EAD) and identification of antennally-active compounds by GC-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). The goal is to discover key components of the chemical communication that results in host location by the weevil, location of conspecifics, and host location by an introduced parasitoid fly. Successful GC-EAD recordings were obtained from fly antennae in response to both host plant and weevil odors. Further progress is dependent on receipt of extramural funding by the Cooperator. Successful completion of the project will contribute to the quality of life of Floridians by contributing to detection and control methods for this weevil, thereby preserving natural biodiversity.
Progress was monitored through direct involvement in lab activities, research meetings and discussions with collaborators at U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory (USHRL) and University of Florida - Indian River Research and Education Center (UF-IRREC), telephone calls and email communication.