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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pheromone-Based Attractant for Males of Cactoblastis Cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

Authors
item Heath, Robert
item Teal, Peter
item Epsky, Nancy
item Dueben, Barbara
item Hight, Stephen
item Bloem, S - USDA-APHIS
item Carpenter, James
item Weissling, T - UNIV OF NEBRASKA
item Kendra, Paul
item Cibran, J - IFIT, COLEGIO DE POSTGRAD

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 5, 2006
Publication Date: December 1, 2006
Citation: Heath, R.R., Teal, P.E., Epsky, N.D., Dueben, B.D., Hight, S.D., Bloem, S., Carpenter, J.E., Weissling, T.J., Kendra, P.E., Cibran, J. 2006. Pheromone-based attractant for males of cactoblastis cactorum (lepidoptera: pyralidae). Environmental Entomology. 35(6): 1469-1476.

Interpretive Summary: The cactus moth is an invasive pest of prickly pear cactus. Since its arrival in the Florida Keys in 1989, it has moved rapidly up the east and west coasts of Florida, threatening to invade the southwestern United States and Mexico. The development of a synthetic lure for this pest is critical to monitor movement into areas currently pest free and to implement management strategies such as the sterile insect technique to provide barriers to continued pest movement. Therefore, research was conducted by scientists at the SHRS, CMAVE and CPMRU in collaboration with scientists from APHIS-PPQ-CPHST and Colegio De Postgraduados that identified, formulated and field tested a three component pheromone-based synthetic attractant. Traps baited with this synthetic lure captured equal or higher numbers of males than traps baited with two virgin females. Trapping systems using this pheromone-based attractant will be useful for population detection in areas currently free from this pest, and for population delineation in areas currently infested.

Technical Abstract: The cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg), is an invasive pest of Opuntia spp. Since its arrival in the Florida Keys in 1989, it has moved rapidly up the east and west coasts of Florida, threatening to invade the southwestern United States and Mexico. Female moths produce a sex pheromone that attracts male moths. In this study, we report on mating behavior observed in the laboratory and the identification of putative pheromonal chemical components based on mass spectral analysis of volatiles collected from virgin female moths and from solvent extraction of excised glands. Three candidate components, formulated on rubber septa in different release rates and ratios, were tested in laboratory olfactometer and flight tunnel experiments, and in field tests in areas with known feral populations of cactus moths. Lures formulated with the three-component blend of 54% (Z,E) -9,12 tetradecadien-1-ol acetate, 42% (Z,E) - 9,12 tetradecadien-1-ol and 4% (Z)-9- tetradecen -1-ol acetate were the most effective, although changes in the ratio of these components had little effect on lure efficacy. For field deployment, traps baited with synthetic lures with a 1 mg load of the three component blend captured equal or higher numbers of males than traps baited with two virgin females. Trapping systems using this pheromone-based attractant will be useful for population detection in areas currently free from this pest, and for population delineation in areas currently infested.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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