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Title: Evaluation of Sex Pheromone as an IPM Tool for Cocoa Pod Borer Pest Management

item Zhang, Aijun

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/14/2008
Publication Date: 6/16/2008
Citation: Zhang, A., Kuang, L., Bhanu, K., Hall, D.R., Virdiana, I., Purung, H., Wang, S., Prakash, H. 2008. Evaluation of Sex Pheromone as an IPM Tool for Cocoa Pod Borer Pest Management. Environmental Entomology. 37(3):719-724.

Interpretive Summary: The cocoa pod borer (CPB) has been reported as the most serious pest of cocoa pod in Southeast Asia and losses can be in excess of 30% of the crop. The control of CPB has relied heavily on the applications of pesticides. Sex attractants of CPB were identified in 1986. However, the use of attractants against CPB was halted in the early 1990s, partly due to economic reasons, and partly due to lack of commercial quantities of pheromone preparations available for large-scale use. Today, the demand of high quality cocoa products requires alternative of pesticide to control CPB. Therefore, we conducted the field tests to reevaluate male attraction of previously identified sex attractants with better quality control. Our research confirmed activity of attractants made by our cooperator, an India company. With the aid of attractant traps, different CPB control methods currently used in Malaysia and Indonesia were evaluated. This will help growers and scientist to develop more efficient CPB control strategies, to reduce pesticide or rationalize its use, and to result in better quality cocoa beans from Asia, from where US imports cocoa beans to make chocolate for America and other world wide consumers.

Technical Abstract: The previously identified female sex pheromone of cocoa pod borer, Conopomorpha cramerella (Snellen) (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), was re-evaluated for its utility as a possible IPM tool for cocoa pod borer management. It was found that lures containing 100-µg of synthetic sex pheromone blend, (E,Z,Z)- and (E,E,Z)-4,6,10-hexadecatrienyl acetates and the corresponding alcohols in a ratio of 40:60:4:6 in a polyethylene vial, were able to attract male C. cramerella moths in Sabah and peninsular Malaysia in Malaysia and in Sumatra and Sulawesi, Indonesia, suggesting that the same pheromone strain existed in a wide stretch of the Indo-Malayan archipelago. Of the three kinds of trap designs (Delta, Pherocon 1C, and Pherocon V scale traps) tested in Malaysia; the Delta and Pherocon 1C traps were shown to be more effective than Pherocon V scale traps and also male C. cramerella captures were not significantly different from traps baited with 100-, 300-, or 1000-µg doses of sex pheromone. C. cramerella moth populations in cacao plots monitored using pheromone traps under various management practices indicated that moth populations were lower in plots under non-pesticide treatments such as biological control, plastic sleeving and repeated and complete harvesting than in plots treated with widely used pyrethroid pesticide treatments. For those cacao plots under normal agronomic practice, 7-d regular and complete harvesting interval is more effective in lowering the male C. cramerella populations than plots under 10- and 14-d harvesting intervals. Release rate study of C. cramerella sex pheromone formulation conducted in laboratory demonstrated that volatile active ingredients were desorbed from polyethylene vials following first order kinetics, which indicates a satisfactory “half-life time” of 100-µg loading is about 6-wk at laboratory conditions. A satisfactory attractiveness of the lure with 100-'g loading was about 1- to 2-mo in the field conditions.