First Report of Mating Disruption With an Aggregation Pheromone: A Case Study With Tetropium fuscum (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

Jon Sweeney, Peter J Silk, Marc Rhainds, Wayne MacKay, Cory Hughes, Kate Van Rooyen, Wayne MacKinnon, Gaetan Leclair, Steve Holmes, Edward G Kettela
Journal of Economic Entomology 2017 June 1, 110 (3): 1078-1086
Tetropium fuscum (F.), native to Europe and established in Nova Scotia, Canada, since at least 1990, is considered a low-to-moderate threat to spruce (Picea spp.) forests in North America and regulated as a quarantine pest by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. We tested broadcast applications of the aggregation pheromone racemic (5E)-6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-ol (fuscumol), formulated at 10% concentration in Hercon Bio-Flakes (Hercon International, Emigsville, PA), for efficacy in disrupting T. fuscum mating and suppressing populations. Two applications of 2.5-2.75 kg Bio-Flakes (250-275 g a.i.) per ha per season significantly reduced trap catches and mating success (2009, 2010, 2012): about 30% of females trapped in treated plots had mated compared with 60% of females trapped in untreated plots. Similar reductions in mating success were observed in 2011 with one or two 4.5 kg/ha applications of Bio-Flakes. Mean densities of T. fuscum colonizing sentinel bait logs or girdled trees were 36% lower in pheromone-treated plots than in untreated plots, but the difference was not statistically significant. Lack of population suppression may have been because mated females immigrated into treated plots or because populations were so high that despite a 50% reduction in mating success, absolute numbers of mated females were sufficient to infest our bait logs or trees. This is the first demonstration of insect mating disruption via broadcast application of an aggregation pheromone. Pheromone-mediated mating disruption has potential to slow the spread of invasive cerambycids by targeting low-density outlier populations near or beyond the leading edge of an infestation.

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