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Title: Chemical ecology and serendipity: Developing attractants for Florida ambrosia beetle pests

item OWENS, DAVID - Orise Fellow
item Kendra, Paul
item Montgomery, Wayne
item Narvaez, Teresa
item CARRILLO, DANIEL - University Of Florida
item Tabanca, Nurhayat

Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/27/2017
Publication Date: 11/7/2017
Citation: Owens, D.R., Kendra, P.E., Montgomery, W.S., Narvaez, T.I., Carrillo, D., Tabanca, N. 2017. Chemical ecology and serendipity: Developing attractants for Florida ambrosia beetle pests. 65th Annual Meeting of Entomological Society Of America. Denver, CO. 5-8 Nov. 2017.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Two exotic ambrosia beetles have become established in southern Florida: Xyleborus glabratus, the redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB), and Euwallacea fornicatus, the tea shot hole borer (TSHB). Both pests vector pathogenic fungal symbionts; the former for laurel wilt and the latter for Fusarium dieback disease. Although native ambrosia beetles are typically polyphagous and target stressed and dying trees, both RAB and TSHB are capable of functioning as primary colonizers, attacking apparently healthy hosts. As such, neither species is highly attracted to ethanol, a volatile indicative of tree stress. With RAB, host range in the US appears to be limited to members of the Lauraceae; and host location is based on olfactory detection of signature laurel volatiles, with a-copaene as the primary host-location cue. With TSHB in Florida, particular avocado cultivars appear to be preferred hosts; and the standard attractant for pest detection is quercivorol (p-menth-2-en-1-ol), an apparent fungal-based odor. However, TSHB was also attracted to a-copaene lures in field tests for RAB detection in avocado groves. Subsequent tests confirmed that (-)-a-copaene is an attractant for TSHB, equivalent in efficacy to quercivorol lures. The combination of a-copaene and quercivorol is potentially synergistic, and results in improved detection of TSHB over an extended period of time. Our results indicate that a 2-component lure, containing a-copaene and quercivorol, is an effective tool for early pest detection of both RAB and TSHB in Florida avocado groves and minimizes non-target scolytine captures.