Submitted to: Agrociencia Magazine
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/30/2009
Publication Date: 2/15/2010
Citation: Gonzalez-Gaona, E., Sanchez-Martinez, G., Zhang, A., Lozano-Gutierrez, J., Carmona-Sosa, F. 2010. Validation of two pheromonal compounds for monitoring pink hibiscus mealybug in Mexico. Agrociencia Magazine. 44:65-73. Interpretive Summary: The pink hibiscus mealybug (PHM) is an insect pest, which feeds on many different kinds of plant and causes severe economic problems. With the recent arrival of this pest in California and Florida as well as in Mexico and Central America, timely detection of infestation of this pest is of top priority for the control efforts. We have conducted the field test of the identified sex attractant in different plantations in Valle de Banderas, Mexico. We found that the sex attractant was significantly attractive to males. By using this attractant we were able to map the extent of this pest to a regional scale. The research results would not only help scientists and growers to understand biology of this insect, but also facilitate early detection of new infestations and allow timely release of biological control agents or application of other management strategies to effectively control this pest.
Technical Abstract: A Pink Hibiscus Mealybug (Macconelicoccus hirsutus (Green)) was detected, in 2004, in Valle de Banderas, at municipalities Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit, and Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México, affecting fruit trees, native and ornamental plants. This pest insect is native to Asia and Australia, and has economic importance in several countries. The most common method to detect M. hirsutus in new locations consists of visual inspections on plants; however, with this method, the insect detection occurs once the infestation is already evident. An alternative method for detecting M. hirsutus could be the use of the attraction pheromone for M. hirsutus males, composed of lavandulyl and maconellyl esters. In this study, we evaluated the attraction effect of the Pink Hibiscus Mealybug pheromone in Valle de Banderas on a teak (Tectona grandis L.) plantation, on a natural stand of parota trees (Enterolobium cyclocarpum (Jacq.) Griseb.), on a mago tree orchard (Mangifera indica L. cv. Ataulfo) and on a guanabana tree orchard (Anona muricata L.). Furthermore, the pheromone was used to determine the insect geographic extent starting from the location of initial detection. We found that lavandulyl and maconellyl on a 1: 5 ratio significantly attracted M. hirsutus males and was very specific. By using this insect pheromone, we were able to map the extent of this species to a regional scale.