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Title: Seasonal response of Noctua pronuba L. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to traps in Washington state

item Landolt, Peter
item ZACK, RICHARD - Washington State University
item ROBERTS, DIANA - Washington State University Extension Service

Submitted to: The Pan-Pacific Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/26/2014
Publication Date: 3/31/2015
Citation: Landolt, P.J., Zack, R.S., Roberts, D. 2015. Seasonal response of Noctua pronuba L. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to traps in Washington state. Pan-Pacific Entomologist. 91(1):20-28.

Interpretive Summary: Cutworms are larvae of moths and can severely damage a number of agricultural crops, including potato. The yellow underwing moth is a European species of cutworm that is becoming widespread and abundant in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The adult moths are often monitored with blacklight traps, but there are no chemical lures developed for this species. Researchers at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Wapato, Washington are collaborating with scientists at Washington State University in Pullman and Spokane to improve both our lures and traps for monitoring cutworms, and to obtain information on the life history of cutworm moths for use in integrated pest management programs. Experiments evaluated a blacklight traps and traps baited with a chemical feeding attractant to determine when the yellow underwing moth is active during the year and if it is attracted to chemical lures.It was found that the moth flies in late spring and again in late summer, suggesting that there are two generations, with cutworm larvae on crops in early spring and again in mid summer. In addition, a chemical attractant made of the combination of acetic acid and 3-methyl-1-butanol was demonstrated to be attractive to both male and female yellow underwing moths. This information will be useful to researchers and pest managers who will need to know how to monitor for the adult insect, and when to look for the immature or cutworm stage on crops.

Technical Abstract: Blacklight traps at multiple sites in eastern Washington state yielded numbers of yellow underwing moths, Noctua pronuba L. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Noctua pronumba is recently introduced into western North America. Summaries of the seasonal patterns of N. pronumba moths captured in those blacklight traps indicate two broad times of moth flight. A spring flight was evident in May and June, and a late season flight was evident from late August into October. Noctua pronuba moths were captured also in traps baited with acetic acide plus 3-methyl-1-butanol, but not in traps baited with acetic acide or baited with 3-methyl-1-butanol alone. This chemical combination is thought to be a feeding attractant for many noctuid moths, and may be useful for monitoring N. pronuba. The seasonal pattern of N. pronuba moths captured in traps baited with this chemical lure was similar to the pattern seen with blacklight traps.