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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 #106211

Title: Collection of fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in selected pheromone lures and trap designs

item Meagher, Robert - Rob

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/16/2000
Publication Date: 4/1/2001
Citation: Meagher Jr, R.L., Mitchell, E.R. 2001. Collection of fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in selected pheromone lures and trap designs. Journal of Entomological Science. 36(2):135-142.

Interpretive Summary: The fall armyworm is a 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 over 20 insecticide applications per season to control this pest, and during the summer of 1998, ranchers and farmers 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, three commercial pheromone baits were tested with two different trap types to determine which combination collected more male moths. Unitraps, also known as bucket traps, consistently collected more moths with baits from all three commercial companies. One company's bait collected statistically fewer moths, although the differences may not be important for general monitoring. However, in future systems where adult monitoring is compared to immature populations, or where attract and kill systems are developed, the best bait used with the best trap will be important in managing this pest.

Technical Abstract: Two trap designs and three sources of commercially-produced pheromone lures were used to capture fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), males in silage corn and peanuts in north-central Florida. Unitraps baited with Trece and Scenturion lures captured more moths than Scentry-baited traps. Gas chromatographic detection of the pheromone blend suggested no differences in acetate component ratios among lures. Unitraps collected more moths than Heliothis cone traps. Behavioral observations at night showed that equal percentages of moths were initially collected in both traps but that moths were able to escape from cone traps.