The potential of sex pheromones analogs for the control of Cryptoblabes gnidiella (Lepdoptera: Pyralidae), an exotic pest in South America


Abstract: Cryptoblabes gnidiella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is a primary vineyard pest in South America and secondary fruit pest in the Mediterranean basin. The sex pheromone of C. gnidiella, a 1:1 mixture of (Z)-11-hexadecenal and (Z)-13-octadecenal, is suitable for population monitoring, but chemically unstable for population control by mating disruption. The formate analogues of the pheromone components are behavioral antagonists that prevent the normal response of males to both natural and synthetic female sex pheromone. We here evaluate the pheromone analogues as mating disruptants within a commercial vineyard. We treated 0.7 Ha planted with Gewürztraminer with 10 g of (Z)-9-tetradecenyl formate and (Z)-11-hexadecenyl formate (1:1), deployed from 1000 point sources. As a result, grape damage by C. gnidiella and male captures in pheromone traps were significantly reduced in the treated area. The number of larvae, the percent of attacked grape clusters, and the number of larvae per cluster, were all lower in comparison with an untreated control area. Our results show that air permeation with the formate sex pheromone analogues has potential for mating disruption of C. gnidiella in vineyards. Specifically, the decreased male captures in pheromone traps within the treated area suggest that male response to the female sex pheromone is partially inhibited, hence resulting in lower mating success and fewer larvae.

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