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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biologically-based Technologies for Management of Crop Insect Pests in Local and Areawide Programs

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Attraction of Plecia nearctica (dipter:bibionidae) to floral lures containing phenylacetaldehyde

item Arthurs, Steven
item Tofangsazi, Nastaran
item Meagher, Robert - Rob
item Cherry, Ron

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/28/2012
Publication Date: 3/1/2012
Citation: Arthurs, S.P., Tofangsazi, N., Meagher Jr, R.L., Cherry, R. 2012. Attraction of Plecia nearctica (dipter:bibionidae) to floral lures containing phenylacetaldehyde. Florida Entomologist. 95(1):199-201.

Interpretive Summary: The “Lovebug” is a widely recognized insect found alongside roadways in many southern states. In Florida, large numbers of these flies are attracted to automobiles between April and May and again between August and September. They are a nuisance pest whose dried bodies affect the paint on all types of vehicles. While testing for attractiveness of floral-based lures to moth turf pests, scientists at the University of Florida and the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, noticed a large number of adult lovebugs in traps baited with the aromatic compound phenylacetaldehyde. This report provides the results of tests with traps containing several floral baits. It was found that traps baited with phenylacetaldehyde were successful at capturing both male and female lovebugs, and the addition of other floral chemicals did not improve the capture rate. Phenylacetaldehyde warrants consideration for use in sampling strategies.

Technical Abstract: We observed that the floral odorant, phenylacetaldehyde (PAA), was attractive to both sexes of adult lovebugs (Plecia nearctica, Diptera: Bibionidae) in central and southern Florida. The addition of ß-myrcene and methyl salicylate to PAA did not improve the numbers of P. nearctica caught in delta traps. This report provides additional information for sampling strategies.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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