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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 #181140

Title: Trapping Mocis spp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) adults using different attractants

item Meagher, Robert - Rob

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2005
Publication Date: 12/1/2005
Citation: Meagher Jr, R.L., Mislevy, P. 2005. Trapping Mocis spp. (Lepidoptera:Noctuidae) adults using different attractants. Florida Entomologist. 88(4):424-430.

Interpretive Summary: The larval form of several species of grass looper infest forage grass, turf grass, corn, and sorghum plantings in the southeastern United States. In Florida, there are four species that may be found. Even though the sex pheromone of theses species is known, the chemicals are expensive to synthesize and are not commercially available. An entomologist at the USDA/ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, and an agronomist at the University of FLorida, conducted field experiments in south-central Florida to determine if other attractants would be useful for collecting these pest moths. Our results found that a combination lure composed of acetic acid and 3-methyl-1-butanol was successful in capturing large numbers of both female and male moths. Both of these chemicals are obtained easily and are by-products of rotting fruits. This result wil help growers monitor large areas of pasture and cultivated grassed for these pest species.

Technical Abstract: Experiments conducted in a pasture agroecosystem in central Florida showed that two-component lures composed of acetic acid and 3-methyl-1-butanol placed in Unitraps collected adults of three species of grass looper. Mocis disseverans (Walker), M. latipes (Guenée), and M. marcida (Guenée) male and females were collected from July through November, with peaks from late September through late October. Other noctuid moths were also captured, but constituted less than 33% of the total moths collected. In 2001 and 2002, 67.7 and 72.4% of the Mocis spp. moths collected were females, respectively. Phenylacetaldehyde-baited traps collected fewer Mocis spp. moths. The trapping system suggested by our results will aid growers in monitoring for a pest complex that lacks commercially-available sex pheromone lures.