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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Testing for a Trail Following Pheromone on the Silky Cane Weevil

Authors
item Puche, Helena - FORMER ARS EMPLOYEE
item Epsky, Nancy
item Heath, Robert

Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2006
Publication Date: December 11, 2006
Citation: Puche, H., Epsky, N.D., Heath, R.R. 2006. Testing for a trail following pheromone on the silky cane weevil. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting.

Technical Abstract: The silky cane weevil (SCW), Metamasius hemipterus sericeus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a pest of sugarcane, and palms, and was introduced into Florida in the mid-1980s. In laboratory tests it was observed that weevils followed tracks already walked by other co-specifics and experiments were designed to demonstrate this behavior. A plastic shoe-box with a transparent lid with two open snap cap vials attached to two open round holes on the opposite sides of the box were used to release five SCW consecutively. The tracks walked by the weevils were drawn with markers each of a different color for each weevil, on a transparency sheet placed on top of the transparent lid of the box. The maximum distance (cm) between tracks, and the percentage of each track that was within 0.8 cm from the first drawn track were measured. The experiment was repeated 45 times. The maximum distances between tracks, decreased, and the percentage of tracks within 0.8 cm from the first track increased with each weevil released in the box. These results suggested the existence of a trail following pheromone on the SCW.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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