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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Attractiveness of binary blends of floral odorant compounds to moths in Florida, USA

item Meagher, Robert - Rob
item Landolt, Peter

Submitted to: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2008
Publication Date: 7/15/2008
Citation: Meagher Jr, R.L., Landolt, P.J. 2008. Attractiveness of binary blends of floral odorant compounds to moths in Florida, USA. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 128(2):323-329.

Interpretive Summary: Several moths, such as soybean looper, velvetbean caterpillar, tobacco budworm, corn earworm, and fall armyworm are pests whose larvae attack various row crops such as corn, cotton, rice, forage grasses, and peanuts in the eastern and central United States. Traditionally, chemical control through the use of insecticides is the most common management tactic used against these pests. However, because of environmental concerns, new population monitoring techniques and alternative control strategies are needed. Sex pheromone baits were developed and are used to detect and measure population sizes, but they only attract and capture male moths. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, and at the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, Washington, are improving trapping techniques that will aid in monitoring adult populations. This report describes capture of soybean looper, velvetbean caterpillar, and other pest moths in traps baited with synthetic floral odorants. One chemical, phenylacetaldehyde, combined with several other chemicals, was very good at attracting large numbers of both male and female moths. Overall, phenylacetaldehyde plus '-myrcene appeared to be the strongest combination for capturing these pest species. Future control tactics may include this combination in an attract-and-kill strategy.

Technical Abstract: Evaluation of combinations of flower odor compounds in the field revealed several chemicals that were attractive or co-attractive with phenylacetaldehyde (PAA) to pest noctuid and pyralid moths. A number of moth species responded positively to PAA. The floral odorants cis-jasmone, linalool, benzyl acetate, limonene, linalool, '-myrcene, methyl salicylate, and methyl-2-methoxy benzoate all increased captures of some moths when added to traps with PAA, but responses varied among the moth species that were trapped. For example, soybean looper moths [Pseudoplusia includens (Walker)] most strongly responded to PAA plus '-myrcene, but benzyl acetate, cis-jasmone, and limonene also increased captures of these moths when these chemicals were used in traps along with PAA. Velvetbean caterpillar moths (Anticarsia gemmatalis Hübner) responded most strongly to PAA plus linalool, but '-myrcene, cis-jasmone, and limonene also increased captures of these moths in traps over numbers trapped with PAA. Positive responses to floral chemical blends were also noted for golden looper Argyrogramma verruca (F.), the grass looper Mocis disseverans (Walker), tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens (F.), southern armyworm Spodoptera eridania (Stoll), and melonworm Diaphania hyalinata (L.). Overall, PAA plus '-myrcene appeared to be the strongest floral chemical combination for pest species trapped, compared to PAA or other chemical blends.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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