|Polavarapu, Sridhar - RUTGERS UNIVERSITY|
Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2004
Publication Date: July 1, 2004
Citation: Zhang, A., Polavarapu, S. 2004. Sex pheromone of the blueberry leafminer, Caloptilia porphyretica. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 30(7):1513-1527. Interpretive Summary: The blueberry leafminer has become a regular occurrence in commercial high-bush blueberries grown in Atlantic and Burlington Counties of New Jersey. Severe infestations, as high as 40-50 % leaves with mines, have been observed in many locations in New Jersey. Although blueberry bushes can tolerate leaf mining to some extent without loss of production, severe infestations may affect the general vigor and cause yield loss. In addition to direct production loss, this insect can become a contaminant, especially in machine-harvested fruit, as the larvae drop from bushes along with harvested fruit. The presence of larvae in harvested fruit can substantially increase sorting time on the packing lines and may result in a contaminated product. At present, little is known of biology and seasonal life history of C. porphyretica. Using the gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection technique, we determined that female blueberry leafminer release a single compound as the sex attractant. The field tests demonstrated that traps baited with the chemical were attractive to males, and adult flight activity occurred during three distinct periods per season. Traps baited with this lure can provide information on population levels, thereby helping growers apply insecticide in a timely manner. Furthermore, the identification of the sex attractant will also enable future development of mating disruption and attract-and-kill technologies for managing blueberry leafminer populations.