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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

2011 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

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

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. One study evaluated efficacy of two essential oil lures, manuka and phoebe, when deployed in funnel traps and sticky traps. Phoebe lures captured significantly more RAB than manuka lures, and sticky traps captured more RAB than funnel traps over 10-12 weeks. However, manuka lures were as effective as phoebe lures during the first 2-3 weeks of field use. This information is being used by action agencies (Florida Division of Plant Industry and Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey) to improve detection of RAB.

Methods of monitoring research activities conducted under this agreement include email communications and powerpoint presentations to the Florida Avocado Administrative Committee.


Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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