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Research Project: Sustainable Approaches for Pest Management in Vegetable Crops

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Integration of olfactory and visual cues for detection of low density populations of sweetpotato weevil, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius)

Author
item Williams, Livy
item Mcquate, Grant
item Sylva, Charmaine
item Wadl, Phillip
item Webb, Jennifer - Clemson University

Submitted to: International Society of Chemical Ecology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/16/2018
Publication Date: 8/13/2018
Citation: Williams III, L.H., McQuate, G.T., Sylva, C.D., Wadl, P.A., Webb, J. 2018. Integration of olfactory and visual cues for detection of low density populations of sweetpotato weevil, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius). International Society of Chemical Ecology Meeting. p.359.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sweetpotato is one of the most important staple crops in the world, and the sweetpotato weevil, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius), is the major pest of sweetpotato in most areas of cultivation. The sweetpotato weevil feeds primarily on the storage root, where its feeding and oviposition induce the production of extremely bitter-tasting and toxic sesquiterpenes which can render the roots unfit for consumption. A significant step towards improved management of this pest was the identification and commercial availability of a female-produced sex pheromone [(Z)-3-dodecenyl (E)-2-butenoate] to which males are highly attracted. However, other sensory modalities, such as vision, are also important in host finding. Previous field studies in areas with relatively high C. formicarius densities report a nearly 5-fold increase in male catch in traps baited with this pheromone and a green light-emitting diode versus traps baited only with the pheromone. Thus, the combination of olfactory and visual cues significantly enhanced trap effectiveness for this nocturnal species. Furthermore, other studies suggest that certain plant volatiles are also attractive to the sweetpotato weevil. The present study evaluated the effect of pheromone, green LED, and a plant volatile on sweetpotato weevil attraction in areas with relatively low weevil densities. Our results suggest that multimodal cues may provide improved C. formicarius detection and management over a wide range of weevil densities.