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Research Project: SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE AND INDIGENOUS INSECTS OF URBAN LANDSCAPES

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory

Title: Pheromone of the banana-spotting bug, amblypelta lutescens lutescens Distant (Hemiptera: Coreidae): identification, synthesis and field bioassay

Author
item Khrimian, Ashot
item Fay, Harry - Queensland Government
item Guzman, Filadelfo
item Chauhan, Kamal
item Moore, Chris - University Of Queensland
item Aldrich, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Psyche
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2012
Publication Date: 7/4/2012
Citation: Khrimian, A., Fay, H.A., Guzman, F., Chauhan, K.R., Moore, C., Aldrich, J.R. 2012. Pheromone of the banana-spotting bug, amblypelta lutescens lutescens Distant (Hemiptera: Coreidae): identification, synthesis and field bioassay. Psyche. Article ID 536149, pgs.1-8.

Interpretive Summary: Insect pests cause significant damage to crops, and monitoring their populations aids greatly in reducing pesticide use and informing biological control. The banana spotting bug is one of the principal insect pests of fruits and nut trees across northern and eastern Australia. Apart from damage assessments in orchards, there are currently no other methods for monitoring bug activity to aid management decisions. Attractant-baited traps are being used to monitor insect pest populations for a wide range of insect species. Pheromones, or chemicals that trigger a natural behavioral response in another member of the same species, are commonly used as baits for sampling insect populations. In the present study, we identified the pheromone of the banana spotting bug as a mixture of three compounds. We also synthesized these chemical compounds and tested them in the field in Australia. The results demonstrated that the pheromone was attractive to male, female and immature banana spotting bugs and, thus can be used as a sensitive tool for detecting the pest presence in agricultural settings. The results of this study will be used by entomologists and chemists involved in the research of potential pest control compounds, and to agencies in Australia involved in monitoring and controlling the banana spotting bug.

Technical Abstract: The banana spotting bug Amblypelta lutescens lutescens Distant (Hemiptera: Coreidae) is one of the principal pests of tree fruits and nuts across northern and eastern Australia. Apart from damage assessments in orchards, there are currently no other methods for monitoring bug activity to aid management decisions. The pheromone of this species, if identified, could potentially fill this void. Earlier, two male-specific compounds were identified in the airborne extract from A. lutescens lutescens, (E,E)-a-farnesene (2), (R)-(E)-nerolidol (3), and an unknown compound with a molecular weight 220 was also detected. We now report on the identification of this hitherto unknown compound as (R)-(E,E)-10,11-epoxy-a -farnesene (4). Synthesis of epoxide 4 was conducted capitalizing on a regioselective asymmetric dihydroxylation of sulfolene 5. Three-component blend of compounds 2-4 attracted male and female A. lutescens lutescens in the field as well as nymphs thus pinpointing the aggregation pheromone.