Behavioural effects of pheromone-based control system, ExosexTM SPTab, on male Indianmeal moth, <i>Plodia interpunctella</i>
AbstractWe report on laboratory studies to examine behavioural effects of a new pheromone-based control system for stored product moths, Exosex™ SPTab auto-confusion, on virgin male Plodia interpunctella. The SPTab comprises a compressed electrostatic powder tablet, containing the female sex pheromone (Z,E)-9,12-Tetradecadienyl acetate; designed to be an attractive source to males and disrupt the mate finding ability of several stored moth pest species. Our aims were to examine the effects of SPTab contact on male ability to locate females and to be attractive sources to other males. Observations of behavioural effects were made in a moth flight tunnel. Virgin male P. interpunctella were treated on SPTabs weathered from 1-8 weeks. After treatment, males were either immediately released downwind of calling females in the upwind section of the flight tunnel, or caged individually for 1 to 48 h before release. The ability of treated males to act as false lures for other males was measured by treating males on different age SPTabs as before, caging them and then placing them upwind of untreated males. In all studies males were scored on making source contact. Males treated on the SPTab and immediately released downwind of calling females showed a 96.7% reduction in their ability to contact the females. Males held for 48 h before release still showed a significant reduction in source contact compared to untreated controls. Treated males tested after 3 h, were as attractive as calling females with >75% of flights resulting in source contact. Significant reduction in female source contact was still evident when males were treated on SPTab weathered for 4 weeks. Males treated on SPTabs weathered for up to 8 weeks were significantly attractive to untreated males, and equal to calling females. The results indicate that contact with SPTab significantly reduces the ability of male P. interpunctella to locate females for up to two days. These males could increase the confusion effect by becoming competitive attractive point sources for other males. The Exosex SPTab has novel methods of causing mating disruption. Keywords: Mating disruption, Plodia interpunctella, Exosex SPTab, Sex pheromone, Flight tunnel.
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