Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2005
Publication Date: 4/1/2006
Citation: Landolt, P.J., Adams, T., Zack, R.S. 2006. Field response of alfalfa looper and cabbage looper moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae, Plusiinae) to single and binary blends of floral odorants. Environ. Entomol. 35(2):276-281.
Interpretive Summary: New methods and approaches are needed to control insect pests of potato and other vegetable crops, with reduced use of pesticides that are harmful to human health or the environment. Researchers at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Wapato, Washington are discovering and improving existing chemical attractants for insect pests of potato as part of a program to develop monitoring methods and bait stations. Both sexes of alfalfa looper and cabbage looper moths are attracted to flowers of certain types of plants and a set of chemicals identified as odorants of these flowers were tested for attractiveness to these moths. A 2-component blend proved to be a strong attractant for the alfalfa looper moth in these tests, and a different combination of chemicals was found to be strongly attractive to cabbage looper moths. These results provide new chemical attractants that should be suitable for use in the development of bait station applications that might replace pesticide applications.
Technical Abstract: Seven compounds known as floral odorants were tested as lures for attractiveness to alfalfa looper moths, Autographa californica (speyer) and cabbage looper moths, Trichoplusia ni (Hubner). Phenylacetaldehyde, limonen, ß-mycrene, methyl-2-methoxy benzoate, methyl salicylate, alpha-pinene, and ß-pinene were tested singly and in combination with phenylacetaldehyde as lures in traps. Alfalfa looper moths were captured in traps baited with phenylacetaldehyde and in traps baited with ß-mycrene. Cabbage looper moths were captured in traps baited with phenylacetaldehyde and in traps baited with methyl-2 methoxy benzoate. When six flower chemicals were each tested in combination with phenylacetaldehyde, significantly more alfalfa looper moths were captured when ß-mycrene was added to traps baited with phenylacetaldehyde, compared to phenylacetaldehyde alone. Significantly more cabbage looper moths were captured with the combination to phenylacetaldehyde and methyl salicylate compared to phenylacetaldehyde alone. In addition, cis-jasmone and racemic linalool were tested in traps in combination with phenylacetaldehyde. Both combinations of compounds increased cabbage looper numbers in traps when compared to phenylacetaldehyde alone. Alfalfa looper numbers were increased when cis-jasmone was used along with phenylacetaldehyde, but not when linalool was used with phenylacetaldehyde.