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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Mating Disruption of Guatemalan Potato Moth Tecia Solanivora by Attractive and Non-Attractive Pheromone Blends

Clavijo McCormick, Andrea; Karlsson, Miriam Frida; Bosa Ochoa, Carlos Felipe; Proffit, Magali; Bengtsson, Marie; Zuluaga, Maria V.; Fukumoto, Takehiko; Oehlschlager, Cam; Cotes Prado, Alba Marina; Witzgall, Peter


The behavioral mechanisms of mating disruption in Guatemalan potato moth Tecia solanivora were studied using the sex pheromone components, (E)-3-dodecenyl acetate, (Z)-3-dodecenyl acetate, and dodecyl acetate, formulated in a 100:1:20-ratio mimicking the female-produced blend, and in a 100: 56: 100 off-blend ratio. The mode of action of these two blends was tested in mating disruption experiments in the field and in a greenhouse, as well as in a laboratory wind tunnel. Field treatments with both blends at 80 g pheromone per ha reduced male attraction to trap lures baited with 100 mu g of female sex pheromone. In mesh-house treatments, these two blends were equally effective at reducing male attraction to traps baited with live females and mating of caged females. Subsequent flight tunnel tests corroborated that both blends reduced attraction of naive males to calling females, and pre-exposure of males with either dispenser blend for 24 hr resulted in a strongly reduced response to calling females. The pre-exposure effect was reversible, with males again responsive after 24 hr in clean air. The two dispenser formulations produced a similar effect on male behavior, despite the differences in blend composition. One mating disruption dispenser formulated with either the female-blend or off-blend elicited the same rate of male upwind attraction in a wind-tunnel bioassay. Sensory overload and camouflage, therefore, are contributing mechanisms to mating disruption using either blend. The off-blend, which is more economical to synthesize, is a valuable tool for further development of mating disruption against this major pest of potatoes in Latin America.


Tecia solanivora; Guatemalan potato moth; Mating disruption; Wind tunnel; Camouflage; Sensory imbalance; Sensory fatigue; Lepidoptera; Gelechiidae

Published in

Journal of Chemical Ecology
2012, Volume: 38, number: 1, pages: 63-70
Publisher: SPRINGER