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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHEMICAL SIGNALS FOR MANAGING INSECTS Title: Sex Pheromone of the Cranberry Root Grub, Lichnanthe Vulpine

Authors
item Robbins, Paul - CORNELL UNIV.
item Zhang, Aijun
item Averill, Anne - UNIV. OF MASS.
item Linn, JR., Charles - CORNELL UNIV.
item Roelofs, Wendell - CORNELL UNIV.
item Villani, Michael - CORNELL UNIV.
item Sylvia, Martha - UNIV. OF MASS.

Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 26, 2006
Publication Date: March 30, 2006
Citation: Robbins, P.S., Zhang, A., Averill, A.L., Linn, Jr., C.E., Roelofs, W.L., Villani, M.G., Sylvia, M.M. Sex pheromone of the cranberry root grub, lichnanthe vulpine. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 32(8): 1663-1672.

Interpretive Summary: The cranberry root grub is a native beetle species whose immature stages feed on the roots of cranberry plants, reducing yield and causing significant economic damage. The only existing strategy to control this pest of cranberries is costly bog renovation – the removal of infested plants and replanting with new stock. We have identified a chemical sex attractant for this beetle and have demonstrated that field traps baited with this chemical are attractive to male beetles. This information is being used by other scientists in conjunction with cranberry growers to monitor beetle populations and predict when bog renovation is necessary. The information is also being used by scientists to develop mating disruption and other control strategies, in an effort to control this pest without the need for bog renovation.

Technical Abstract: Lichnanthe vulpina (Hentz) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), commonly called the cranberry root grub, is a scarab beetle with a long history as a root-feeding pest of cranberry beds in Massachusetts. The larvae feed on the roots of the cranberry plant, reducing yield as well as vine density. Both (Z)-7-hexadecanol and (Z)-7-hexadecanal were identified from the female effluvia collection by gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The double-bond position was confirmed by dimethyl disulfide derivatization. Field assays using the synthetic compounds showed activity for both however (Z)-7-hexadecanol alone maximized male trap catch. The addition of (Z)-7-hexadecanal to (Z)-7-hexadecanol did not statistically affect male capture. Flight activity of cranberry root grub may be monitored with traps baited with rubber septa containing 300 µg of (Z)-7-hexadecanol. A test of trap vane colors indicated that traps with green or red vanes maximizes target male catch while minimizing non-target catch of bumblebees, honeybees, and solitary bees, important pollinators of cranberries.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014