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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: TOWARDS THE IDENTIFICATION AND SYNTHESIS OF THE SEX PHEROMONE OF THE CITRUS LEAFMINER, PHYLLOCNISTIS CITRELLA STAINTON (LEPIDOPTERA: GRACILLARIIDAE))

Author
item Parra-pedrazzoli, Ana
item Cossé, Allard
item Murata, Yasuhiro
item Bento, Jose m
item Vilela, Evaldo
item Leal, Walter

Submitted to: Neotropical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/29/2005
Publication Date: 3/10/2006
Citation: Parra-Pedrazzoli, A.L., Cosse, A.A., Murata, Y., Bento, J.S., Vilela, E.F., Leal, W.S. 2006. Towards the ientification and synthesis of the sex pheromone of the citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptrea: gracillariidae). Neotropical Entomology 35(1):12-18.

Interpretive Summary: Studies that focus on the identification of chemical compounds that are released by insect species to attract their opposite sex for mating purposes (pheromones) can benefit greatly from basic behavioral information. Pheromones are used as practical tools in monitoring or controlling the presence of harmful insects in agricultural commodities. Most of the moth species emit their pheromones in minute quantities (10-9 grams), at very specific times of the day, and only for few hours. In order to collect enough of the natural pheromone for chemical identification, it is important to know the best collection period during the insect’s life span. This study presents detailed information on the sexual behavior of the citrus leafminer moth, a serious pest of citrus throughout the world. This information has subsequently resulted in the successful identification of the sex pheromone of citrus leafminer.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this work was to characterize the sexual behavior of the citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton, as the foundation for the isolation, identification, and synthesis of the complete sex pheromone of this species. Mating occurred in a time window of 2 hours, starting 1 hour before the onset of photophase. The large majority of tested insects mated in the first 2 days after emergence, with no significant difference between mating at day 1 and day 2. A stereotypical courtship and copulation behavior were described for this species. When mating was successful, the copulation was recorded in average for 49.6 minutes. In Y-olfactometer tests conducted at the time of mating activity, males were strongly attracted to caged virgin females as well as to extracts from putative pheromone glands.

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