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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Phenylacetaldehyde enhances upwind flight of male fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and its sex pheromone

Authors
item Meagher, Robert
item Mitchell, Everett

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 1998
Publication Date: December 1, 1998
Citation: Meagher Jr, R.L., Mitchell, E.R. 1998. Phenylacetaldehyde enhances upwind flight of male fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and its sex pheromone. Florida Entomologist. 81(4):556-559.

Interpretive Summary: The fall armyworm is a tropical pest that invades the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. This insect damages many agronomic crops including corn, rice, forage grasses, and peanuts. Growers of sweet corn may apply 20-30 insecticide applications per season to control this pest. Because of insecticide resistance and environmental concerns over insecticide applications, new population monitoring techniques and alternative control strategies are needed. Sex pheromone baits have been developed and are used to detect and measure population sizes. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, are developing additional compounds that may aid in monitoring fall armyworm populations. Various commercial pheromone baits were combined with a floral compound, phenylacetaldehyde, in laboratory wind tunnel tests. Results indicated that more male moths flew towards and contacted the combined baits, rather than each bait individually. Therefore, phenylacetaldehyde as an additional attractant may increase trap capture in the field, thereby improving current uses of pheromones and potentially creating new attract and kill systems for management of this pest.

Technical Abstract: More male fall armyworms, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), flew upwind to combinations of pheromone-treated septa and phenylacetaldehyde in flight tunnel bioassays. Phenylacetaldehyde in combination with the laboratory-loaded lure increased upwind flight from 68.6% to 87.4%, and increased contact with the source cage from 51.9% to 76.6%. The combination of phenylacetaldehyde with a Scentry lure increased the flight responses from 61.1 to 80.0% and contact from 30.8 to 56.3%. Phenylacetaldehyde in combination with a Trece lure elicited flight increases from 66.5 to 88.3% and contact from 48.7 to 75.0%. No moths flew upwind to phenylacetaldehyde alone at the dose tested. This compound may increase pheromone-baited trap captures in the field, thereby improving current uses of pheromones and potentially creating new lure and toxicant systems for management of this pest.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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