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Southwestern Entomologist 33 (1): 33-47 (2006)

Mating disruption of carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae, with a sex pheromone analog

Richard S Vetter , Jocelyn G Millar , Neil J Vickers , Thomas C Baker
ABSTRACT
Mating disruption experiments were performed for two seasons using (Z,E)-7,9,11-dodecatrienyl formate, a formate ester analog of the major aldehyde component of the sex pheromone of the carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae (Zeller). The pheromone analog, loaded into hollow fibers, was deployed in small, isolated date, Phoenix dactylifera L., orchards in the Coachella Valley of southern California. Experiments were conducted in both conventional, insecticide-treated fields and no-insecticide, organic fields. The formate analog disrupted mate location when the disruptant was initially deployed, as determined by greatly decreased catches of male moths in female-baited sticky traps. Biweekly trap catches of males in fields treated with disruptant were reduced up to 100% in several orchards compared with untreated check fields. However, the effect decreased between deployments as the disruptant was depleted and/or egraded under the harsh field conditions. In 1991, the field treated with disruptant recorded significantly less carob moth damage to date fruits than check fields for the insecticide-treated blocks. However, there were no differences in damage levels between pheromone-treated and check blocks in the organic orchards. In 1992, fewer point sources of pheromone which were deployed later in the season, coupled with logistical problems, resulted in no consistent reduction in carob moth damage to dates in pheromone-treated blocks as compared with untreated control blocks. During this season, date infestation levels appeared to be influenced most heavily by overriding cultural practices.
Notes
Mating disruption of carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae, with a sex pheromone analog