Synthetic pheromones disrupt male Dioryctria spp. moths in a loblolly pine seed orchard
Synthetic sex pheromones released in a loblolly pine, Pinus taeda L. (Pinaceae), seed orchard interfered with the ability of male coneworm moths, Dioryctria Zeller spp. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), to locate traps baited with sex pheromones or live females. Pherocon 1 C® traps baited with synthetic pheromones or live conspecific females were hung near the center of two 1.2-ha circular plots during emergence of Dioryctria amatella (Hulst), Dioryctria disclusa (Heinrich), and Dioryctria merkeli (Mutuura and Munroe). In a paired design, trap catches for the mating-disruption treatment with synthetic pheromone dispensers consisting of three polyvinyl chloride rods placed in every tree were compared with the control treatment. Treatments were alternated at intervals of 2 to 3 days. Trap catches of D. amatella were reduced by 91 percent when plots were treated with 2.5 g/ha of Z-11-hexadencenyl acetate. Catches were reduced by 99.5 percent for D. disclusa and by 97 percent for D. merkeli when plots were treated with 12.5 g/ha of Z-9-tetradecenyl acetate, whereas catches of D. amatella were unaffected by this mating-disruption treatment. Daily disappearance of Z-9-tetradecenyl acetate from the dispensers averaged 0.46 g/ha or less. Manually placing dispensers on nylon lines in the tops of trees was an effective method for releasing synthetic Dioryctria pheromones in the orchard. These data suggest it may be feasible to prevent mating of Dioryctria spp. in pine seed orchards by using synthetic pheromones for mating disruption, but large-scale tests will be required to demonstrate cone protection.
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