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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #228390

Title: Cucumber Volatile Blend Attractive to Female Melon Fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett)

item Jang, Eric
item Carvalho, Lori
item Nagata, Janice

Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2010
Publication Date: 6/5/2010
Citation: Jang, E.B., Carvalho, L.A., Nagata, J.T., Siderhurst, M. 2010. Cucumber Volatile Blend Attractive to Female Melon Fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett). J Chem Ecol. DOI 10.1007/s10886-010-9804-4; 36:699-708

Interpretive Summary: Melon fly is a serious pest of melons and cucurbit crops in Hawaii. We have identified volatile chemicals from cucumber that are attractive to male and female melon flies using a technique called coupled gas-chromatography- electroantennogram detection. . Several of these chemicals were formulated into a single lure that could be used to detect or control melon flies. These new lures have several advantages over other methods for detection and control of this important pest.

Technical Abstract: The melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett), is a serious crop pest throughout the pacific, sub-continental and southeast Asia, causing damage to a variety of solanaceous and cucurbit related crops. Attractants for female melon flies are of particular interest as they could be used to reduce pest levels by killing both the female and her potential offspring. Previous work has shown that freshly sliced cucumbers are attractive to female melon fly and the objective of this research was to identify a synthetic lure for B. cucurbitae. Coupled gas chromatography-electroantennogram detection (GC-EAD) analysis of fresh and aged cucumber slurry volatiles identified 32 compounds which were detected by melon fly females. Active compounds were initially screened as single components in glass McPhail traps in outdoor rotating olfactometer experiments. Synthetic blends were composed based on initial screening results and EAD responses and tested in both an outdoor rotating olfactometer and field cage. Six- and nine-component blends were shown to have female biased attraction in outdoor rotating olfactometer and field cage experiments. Initial field captures with the nine-component blend were two times greater than with solulys protein bait. Subsequently a seven-component blend was formulated into plastic matrix plugs and caught more females that solulys in McPhail type traps. Besides being more attractive, this lure may have several other advantages over protein baits; it has the potential to be used with a dry trap, to be long-lasting, and it captures comparably low numbers of non-targets. Applications of this new female lure include trapping for detection (new infestations/biosecurity) and monitoring/delimitation (for treatment timing), as a control/eradication method with mass trapping or an attract-and-kill system, or as an attractant additive to existing protein insecticide bait sprays such as GF-120.