- Chemical ecology of moths
- Role of semiochemicals in host location by Ectomyelois ceratoniae and mate guarding by Heliothis virescens
- Award date
- 20 June 2017
- Number of pages
- 978 90 827125 0 6
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Semiochemical-based behavioral manipulation has been increasingly implemented in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as an environmentally friendly strategy. For many pest species, however, efficient methods have yet to be developed. An efficient sex pheromone attractant is missing in management of the carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae, a devastating fruit pest, because the major pheromone component is unstable. To explore the use of host-plant volatiles to attract carob moths, the pomegranate-carob moth interaction was investigated in field and wind tunnel experiments. Cracked pomegranates and cracking-susceptible cultivars were most susceptible to E. ceratoniae infestation. Male and female moths were attracted by mature pomegranates, but not by unripe pomegranates and flowers. The combination of pomegranate with virgin females was most attractive to carob moths and enhanced the attraction of virgin females. β-Caryophyllene was identified as the volatile of pomegranate that elicited the strongest antennal responses from female moths. In the wind tunnel, moth attraction was negatively correlated with the amount of β-caryophyllene in different fruit stages. These findings can be used to attract/trap carob moths and/or disrupt their host finding. In the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens, the role of male sex pheromone in male-male competition was investigated. Virgin females perfumed with male pheromone or with the main pheromone component mated less than control virgin females, indicating that male pheromone on females inhibits the approach of other males. Male pheromone may be thus used to suppress mating in H. virescens. Together, pomegranate volatiles and male pheromone of H. virescens show great potential for application in IPM.
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