Submitted to: International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 2004
Publication Date: February 1, 2005
Citation: Hall, D.G., Meagher Jr, R.L., Nagoshi, R.N., Irey, M. 2005. Monitoring adult fall armyworm populations in florida sugarcane using pheromone traps, with special reference to genetic strains of the pest. International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings. Technical Abstract: The fall armyworm (FAW) is a pest of occasional importance in Florida sugarcane. Sporadic outbreaks of FAW often develop rapidly in young cane and can result in severe defoliation. Traps baited with pheromones may hold potential for predicting where and when infestations develop. Two genetic strains of FAW occur in Florida, the 'corn' and 'rice' strains. Whether both strains are associated with sugarcane was not known. This study was conducted to compare commercial pheromone lures for monitoring FAW in sugarcane; obtain data on numbers of FAW collected at pheromone traps; and investigate the genetic strain(s) of FAW associated with sugarcane. Five synthetic FAW pheromones available for purchase (Hercon, Trece, Scentry 2-component, Scentry 4-component, and Scenturion) were evaluated using universal moth traps (yellow, white and green combination) at multiple locations in Florida during 2003 and 2004. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses were used to identify FAW strains. The Scenturion lure attracted significantly more FAW than the other lures. The Trece and Scentry 2 lures ranked second in numbers of moths captured. For traps baited with Scenturion lures, numbers of moths collected at traps peaked during 2003 and 2004 at maximums of 125 and 356 moths per trap per night, respectively. PCR analyses indicated 99% FAW collected during 2003 were 'rice' strain individuals. In 2004, 96% moths collected in areas where no corn was grown were 'rice strain' individuals and 85% were 'rice' strain over all trapping locations. Of only a few FAW larvae found in cane during the study, these were 'rice' strain. Larvae of each strain were found in corn. The study provided base information on pheromone trapping for FAW and indicated that FAW infestations in Florida sugarcane may be predominantly by 'rice' strain individuals. The ramifications of FAW infestations in cane being of only one strain are not currently clear, however, could include potential differences in insecticide susceptibility, biological control and other factors.