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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Landolt, Peter
item Adams, Todd
item Reed, Hal
item Zack, Richard

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2001
Publication Date: 8/1/2001
Citation: Landolt, P.J., Adams, T., Reed, H.C., Zack, R.S. 2001. Trapping Alfalfa Looper moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) with single and double component floral chemical lures. Environmental Entomology. 30:667-672.

Interpretive Summary: New approaches and methods are needed to control lepidopterous larvae on agricultural crops without using broad spectrum pesticides. Chemical attractants can be used to determine the best time to use control methods and can be used directly to trap problem insect pests. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory are developing such attractants for use against a number of moth species that are pests of tree fruit and vegetable crops. One source of chemical attractants for looper moths are flower odors, because they commonly feed at flowers for nectar. It was discovered that both males and females of the alfalfa looper moth are attracted to phenylacetaldehyde and benzyl acetate, two chemicals that occur as flower odors. Alfalfa loopers are defoliating pests of potato and other crops in the western U.S. These chemical attractants are the first lures for females of this moth pest and should be useful both to monitor moth activities and to reduce moth populations.

Technical Abstract: Both sexes of the alfalfa looper moth, Autographa californica (Speyer), were captured in traps baited with chemicals and combinations of chemicals that are odorants from "moth-visited" flowers. When presented alone, phenylacetaldehyde was strongly attractive and benzyl acetate was more weakly attractive to alfalfa looper moths. Few alfalfa looper moths were captured in traps baited with cis-jasmone, linalool, phenethyl alcohol, benzyl acetate or benzyl alcohol. In a comparison of varied amounts of phenylacetaldehyde, accomplished by varying the diameter of the hole in the lid of vial dispensers, greatest captures of alfalfa loopers occurred with the largest hole tested, 6.3 mm diam. Catches of alfalfa looper moths were enhanced when phenylacetaldehyde was presented with cis-jasmone and when benzaldehyde was presented along with benzyl acetate, compared to these chemicals presented singly.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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