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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IPM TECHNOLOGIES FOR SUBTROPICAL INSECT PESTS

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Development of trapping methods using a synthetic sex pheromone of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae)

Authors
item Francis, Antonio - FAMU
item Bloem, Kenneth - APHIS, PPQ
item Roda, Amy - APHIS, PPQ
item LAPOINTE, STEPHEN

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 21, 2007
Publication Date: September 1, 2007
Citation: Francis, A., Bloem, K.A., Roda, A.L., Lapointe, S.L. 2007. Development of trapping methods using a synthetic sex pheromone of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Florida Entomologist. 90:440-446.

Interpretive Summary: The pink hibiscus mealybug threatens numerous crops of economic importance and could spread from populations in California and Florida to 33 other states. Field experiments conducted in Florida evaluated three commercially available trap designs baited with synthetic female sex pheromone for efficiency in trapping males as well as ease in processing. The design of the traps influenced the number of mealybug males captured. The best design also minimized the number of non-target insects, thereby facilitating the process of counting the mealybugs on the sticky surface. The pheromone lure began to lose effectiveness after two months of use in the field. Male mealybugs were most active around dusk. The field experiments also showed that the pheromone traps are often able to capture males in areas where no visual indication of an infestation is evident. The pheromone trap may serve as a valuable tool to detect new infestations of pink hibiscus mealybugs.

Technical Abstract: The pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green) threatens numerous crops of economic importance and could spread from populations in California and Florida to 33 other states. Field experiments conducted in Florida evaluated three commercially available trap designs baited with synthetic female sex pheromone for efficiency in trapping males as well as ease in processing. Delta traps and double-sided sticky cards captured more males than Jackson traps. The Delta and Jackson traps were more effective at minimizing the capture of non-target insects. The effect of lure age on trap captures was also evaluated by pre-aging lures outdoors for zero to eight months before testing. Fewer males were caught in Delta traps as the age of the lure increased, with significantly fewer males being caught in traps that had been pre-aged for two months. Monitoring of male flight activity using baited Delta traps indicated that males were most active around dusk. The field experiments also showed that the pheromone traps are often able to capture males in areas where no visual indication of an infestation is evident. The pheromone trap may serve as a valuable tool to detect new infestations of pink hibiscus mealybugs.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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