Background: Studies of the mechanisms by which mating-disruption techniques control insect pest populations have traditionally focused on the effects of the species-specific sex pheromone on the male moths, while neglecting possible direct effects of the pheromone on females. Here, the effects of exposure to synthetic species-specific sex-pheromone on Lobesia botrana (European grapevine moth) females were tested. Results: Females in vineyards that were treated with mating-disruption pheromone burst into short bouts of flying more frequently, but called significantly less frequently than females in untreated plots. Reduced calling caused by exposure to the species-specific sex-pheromone may increase the age at which females mate and thereby reduce female fecundity. Females that called in a pheromone-saturated environment experienced a decrease in number of oviposited eggs. A further decrease in reproductive success may occur if females delay oviposition when exposed to access of the synthetic pheromone. Conclusions: In addition to reducing the ability of males to locate females, the mating-disruption technique can suppress pest numbers as a consequence of its direct effects on females. The two mechanisms probably act synergistically.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.
- Mating disruption
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science
- Agronomy and Crop Science