Developing an effective trap and lure to monitor Lygus rugulipennis


Abstract: Lygus rugulipennis, the European tarnished plant bug (Miridae), is an important pest of strawberries, raspberries and cucumbers causing malformation of fruit. Ordinarily mirids are controlled with sprays or chlorpyrifos. However, increasing demand for zero residues fruit and the eradication of effective pesticides from IPM programmes is rendering crops more susceptible to attack from mirids. The overall aim of this project is to develop a long-lived, practical lure, attractive to these species, in order to monitor populations so that effective spray timings and spray applications can be made to control the pests in fruit crops. Male L. rugulipennis are attracted to traps baited with live virgin females. Volatiles produced by virgin female L. rugulipennis have been identified as, hexyl butyrate, (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate, and (E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal and these elicit electroantennographic (EAG) responses from males in analyses by linked gas chromatography–electroantennography (GC-EAG). Using ratios similar to those produced by the female at the time of ‘calling’, when males are attracted to females, we have demonstrated the attractiveness of the volatiles to male L. rugulipennis in the field. We also tested a number of home-made and commercially available traps for monitoring mirids. Green cross-vane funnel traps were the most effective and practical of those tested.

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