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Research Project: Sustainable Approaches for Pest Management in Vegetable Crops

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: 13-tetradecenyl acetate, a female-produced sex pheromone of Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal) (Coleoptera: Elateridae)

item Williams, Livy
item SERRANO, JACQUELINE - University Of California
item MILLAR, JOCELYN - University Of California
item JOHNSON, PAUL - South Dakota State 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., Serrano, J.M., Millar, J.G., Johnson, P.J. 2018. 13-tetradecenyl acetate, a female-produced sex pheromone of Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal) (Coleoptera: Elateridae). International Society of Chemical Ecology Meeting. p.360.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The corn wireworm, Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal), is an important crop pest in much of the eastern USA, where it attacks corn, small grains, sugarcane, and tuber, root, and vegetable crops. The corn wireworm also occurs in most major corn growing regions of the world, and is on the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization A1 action list of quarantine pests. In an effort to increase opportunities for pest control, we conducted a study to identify the sex pheromone by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and gas chromatography with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD). GC-MS analysis of female abdomen squash extracts gave four pheromone candidates: 13-tetradecenyl acetate, tetradecyl acetate, (E)-11-tetradecenyl acetate, and (E)-11,13-tetradecadienyl acetate. Two of these, 13-tetradecenyl acetate and tetradecyl acetate, were detected by antennae of male M. communis in GC-EAD trials. In a 2-year field evaluation, traps baited with 13-tetradecenyl acetate captured more than 50% of the male beetles trapped, and traps baited with tetradecyl acetate captured less than 1% of the male beetles trapped. Binary mixtures (1:1 and 4:1 13-tetradecenyl acetate:tetradecyl acetate) of these two compounds gave intermediate catches, as did a quaternary mixture (1:1:1:1) of all four compounds. The identification of a highly attractive sex pheromone for M. communis will provide new strategies for monitoring and management of this pest.