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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Staples, Joseph
item Bartelt, Robert
item Cosse, Allard
item Teal, Stephen
item Whitman, Douglas

Submitted to: International Society of Chemical Ecology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/7/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Pine False Web Worm (PFW) Acantholyda erythrocephala, is a serious pest defoliator of a variety of economically valuable Pinus species in the U.S. and Canada. Repeated annual defoliation by this insect can result in growth reduction and death of host trees; hence, there has been a long-standing interest in developing alternative management strategies for monitoring and control of this insect. Chemical analysis of aerations and whole-body solvent washes obtained from adult PFW revealed two compounds specific to female sawflies. Conclusive identification for these compounds was obtained based on comparisons to mass spectra and gas chromatographic retention times of synthetic standards. Using coupled gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD), we found that one female specific compound was antennally active only in males. Additionally, a number of smaller aldehydes obtained from both sexes were found to elicit responses in male and female antenna. Subsequent field assays were conducted in Illinois and New York to determine if male sawflies were attracted to various combinations of the two most abundant smaller aldehydes and the antennally active female specific compound. Results show that significantly larger numbers of male sawflies were caught in traps baited with the female specific compound compared to traps containing only the smaller aldehydes, male or female solvent extracts, or blank controls. These results are the first to suggest that female pine false webworm produce a sex pheromone that functions as an attractant for males. Ongoing analysis is being conducted to determine if the smaller aldehydes common to both sexes play a role in ovipositional site selection or sex ratios of offspring.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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