Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Research is being conducted to find new ways to control undesirable insects, without the use of large amounts of insecticides. At the USDA, ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida, scientists are studying the orientation responses of pest insects to natural attractants in order to develop lures and traps for these pests. The sugar cane root borer weevil, a major pest of citrus trees in the state of Florida, is attracted to aggregations of weevils feeding on citrus leaves. It was determined that weevils are attracted to the opposite sex, to damaged plant material, and to feces from feeding weevils. These findings will assist efforts to identify the chemicals that attract weevils to aggregations and to develop lures using these chemicals.
Technical Abstract: Adults of the sugarcane rootstalk borer weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), form aggregations on citrus trees where they feed on new foliage. The relative roles of male and female weevils, frass, food, and combinations of these odor sources in aggregation formation were studied using a y-tube olfactometer. Female and male D. abbreviatus were attracted by food, males, females, and female or male frass. Females were most often attracted by damaged food (broken green beans), whereas males were similarly attracted to damaged food and either female frass, male frass or heterosexual pairs. No enhancement of attraction by either sex was found when males and male frass were combined with damaged food.