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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #106169

Title: Trapping fall armyworm adults in traps baited with pheromone and a synthetic floral volatile compound

item Meagher, Robert - Rob

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2000
Publication Date: 6/1/2001
Citation: Meagher Jr, R.L. 2001. Trapping fall armyworm adults in traps baited with pheromone and a synthetic floral volatile compound. Florida Entomologist. 84(2):288-292.

Interpretive Summary: The fall armyworm is a moth pest whose larvae attack various row crops such as corn, rice, forage grasses, cotton, and peanuts in the eastern and central United States. It is present all year in southern Florida and Texas, but migrates to the northern part of its range during spring, summer, and fall seasons. Growers of sweet corn in southern Florida may apply over 20 insecticide applications per season to control this pest, an during the summer of 1998, ranchers and farmers in the southeastern US had to apply insecticides to forage grass pastures. Because of environmental concerns over insecticide applications, new population monitoring techniques and alternative control strategies are needed. Sex pheromone baits were developed and are used to detect and measure population sizes. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, are improving trapping techniques that will aid in monitoring adult fall armyworm populations. In this report, a chemical identified as phenylacetaldehyde, first isolated from flowers, was tested as an enhancement to sex pheromone trapping. Tests were conducted in cotton and corn fields, and results showed that addition of this chemical did not increase trap capture of adult male moths.

Technical Abstract: Field experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of the floral compound phenylacetaldehyde in increasing capture of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, males in pheromone-baited traps. Plastic Unitraps were placed in cotton and corn fields in north-central Florida and were baited with commercial sex pheromone and synthetic phenylacetaldehyde released from hollow polyethylene stoppers and glass microcapillary pipets Addition of phenylacetaldehyde as a lure was not effective in collecting more moths and actually decreased trap capture compared to pheromone-baited traps. Nontarget Hymenoptera were also collected in traps; more Sphecoidea were found in phenylacetaldehyde-baited traps compared to pheromone-baited traps.