Title: Capture and host strain of fall armyworm males in traps baited with different pheromone blends Authors
Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 14, 2013
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Citation: Meagher Jr, R.L., Nagoshi, R.N., Armstrong, J.S., Niogret, J., Epsky, N.D., Flanders, K.L. 2013. Capture and host strain of fall armyworm males in traps baited with different pheromone blends. Florida Entomologist. 96(3):729-740. Interpretive Summary: Fall armyworm is a moth pest that attacks many agricultural row and vegetable crops. The species is composed of two types or host strains, one that feed mostly on large grasses and cotton (corn strain) and one that feeds on small grasses and rice (rice strain). This pest species also migrates each season, from southern Texas and Florida to the upper Midwest and northeast. For years researchers, agricultural consultants, and growers have used traps baited with commercial sex pheromone lures to attract and monitor migrating populations. However, several different chemical blends are available and it is not known if the blends differ in how they attract corn or rice strain males. Scientists at the USDA-Agriculture Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida and Auburn University tested commercial pheromone lures in different agricultural habitats in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. The host strain of responding males was determined by molecular analysis. The four lures attracted similar numbers of moths in Alabama and Georgia, and there were only a few differences among lures in Florida and Texas. The pheromone lures selectively attracted corn or rice strain moths, but differences were related to time of season and crop habitat where traps were placed. There was no clear indication that there was a difference among lures in number or host strain of moths captured. Results from these trials suggest that any of the commercial lures tested will attract the numbers of moths necessary for future genetic and migration analysis.
Technical Abstract: Sex pheromone traps baited with four different commercial lures that contained two, three, or four components were used to capture male fall armyworm [Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith)] in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas from 2006 – 2009. A subset of the moths collected was analyzed for their host strain to determine if there was a difference in attraction of these lures. Chemical analysis of the lures was completed to identify the pheromone components released. In Alabama and Georgia, fall armyworm moths were collected in all sites where traps were placed, although several county locations had very low numbers. The south region in those states averaged over 13 moths per night, compared to 8.5 in the central region, and 1.9 in the north region. More moths were collected in traps where the predominant crop grown at the site was corn or cotton, compared to areas with mixed crops. The four lures attracted similar numbers of moths in Alabama and Georgia, and there were only a few differences among lures in Florida and Texas. Lures selectively attracted corn or rice strain moths, but differences were related to time of season and crop habitat where traps were placed. There was no clear indication that there was a difference among lures in number or host strain of moths captured.