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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Chemical Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Quarantine and Post-harvest Pests

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality

Title: Demonstration and characterization of a persistent pheromone lure for the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Lepidoptera: pyralidae)

Authors
item Higbee, Bradley -
item Burks, Charles
item Larsen, Thomas -

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 2014
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
Citation: Higbee, B.S., Burks, C.S., Larsen, T.E. 2014. Demonstration and characterization of a persistent pheromone lure for the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Lepidoptera: pyralidae). Insects. 5(3):596-608.

Interpretive Summary: The lack of an effective pheromone lure has made it more difficult to monitor and manage the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Producing a lure that is effective in the field long enough for practical use proved difficult, even after an attractive blend was identified in the laboratory. A series of experiments was conducted to optimize the formulation and load, demonstrate effectiveness, and examine effects of navel orangeworm abundance and host crop on effectiveness compared to females. The resulting lure was attractive in the field for at least 40 days. These experiments provided the first artificial pheromone lure useful for practical monitoring of navel orangeworm in the field. Availability of this lure may improve management and decrease insecticide treatments applied on a precautionary basis to almonds, pistachios and walnuts; crops worth > $5 billion annually (unprocessed).

Technical Abstract: The lack of an effective pheromone lure has made it difficult to monitor and manage the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), in the economically important crops in which it is the primary insect pest. A series of experiments was conducted to demonstrate and characterize a practical synthetic pheromone lure for capturing navel orangeworm males. Traps baited with lures prepared with 1 or 2 mg of a three- or four-component formulation captured similar numbers of males. The fluctuation over time in the number of males captured in traps baited with the pheromone lure correlated significantly with males captured in female-baited traps. Traps baited with the pheromone lure usually did not capture as many males as traps baited with unmated females, and the ratio of males trapped with pheromone to males trapped with females varied between crops and with abundance. The pheromone lure described improves the ability of pest managers to detect and monitor navel orangeworm efficiently and may improve management and decrease insecticide treatments applied as a precaution against damage. Awareness of differences between male interaction with the pheromone lure and calling females, as shown in these data, will be important as further studies and experience determine how best to use this lure for pest management.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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