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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Development of Attractants/lures for the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle.

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Identify volatile chemicals from host wood substrates that are attractive to redbay ambrosia betle (RAB), the vector of laurel wilt disease.

2. Use synthetic host-based attractants to develop tools for detection and control of RAB for use by action agencies and avocado growers.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
A multidisciplinary approach will combine:

1. Chemical identification/separation of volatiles (GC, GC-MS, spinning band distillation).

2. Electrophysiology studies of RAB olfactory response (EAG and GC-EAD).

3. Lab bioassays of RAB behavioral response (Olfactometers, flight tunnels, video analysis) and

4. Field tests to confirm semiochemical efficacy, lure formulations, and field life.


3.Progress Report:

This research is directly related to inhous objective 1. Find semiochemicals that lead to products for detection, behavioral disruption, attraction to insecticidal baits, or surveillance of redbay ambrosia beetle, tephritid fruit flies, cocoa pod borer, and other pests that threaten food security.

Field and laboratory studies were conducted by ARS scientists (Miami, FL) to identify host-based attractants for the redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB), which vectors a lethal wilt disease of avocado and related trees in the plant family Lauraceae. Since our previous research indicated that the current RAB lure (manuka oil) lasted only 2-3 weeks in Florida, the primary goal was to identify an improved attractant. Research was conducted to evaluate attraction and olfactory response of RAB to seven plant essential oils. Of the oils evaluated, cubeb oil was identified as a promising new attractant. Initial field trials indicated that a bubble lure containing distilled cubeb oil captured significantly more RAB than the manuka lure, and that cubeb lures had a field life of at least 8 weeks. This information will allow for better detection/monitoring of RAB by action agencies (Florida DPI, CAPS).


Last Modified: 11/20/2014
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