Mating disruption of citrus leafminer mediated by a noncompetitive mechanism at a remarkably low pheromone release rate.
The citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), is a worldwide pest of citrus. A season-long investigation was conducted that evaluated mating disruption for this pest. Effective disruption of the male P. citrella orientation to pheromone traps (98%) and reduced flush infestation by larvae was achieved for 221 d with two deployments of a 3:1 blend of (Z,Z,E)-7,11,13-hexadecatrienal/(Z,Z)-7,11-hexadecadienal at a remarkably low rate of 1.5 g active ingredient (AI)/ha per deployment. To gain insight into the mechanism that mediates the disruption of P. citrella, male moth catch was quantified in replicated plots of citrus treated with varying densities of pheromone dispensers. The densities of septum dispensers compared were: 0 (0/ha, 0.0 g AI/ha), 0.2 (one every fifth tree or 35/ha, 0.05 g AI/ha), 1 (215/ha, 0.29 g AI/ha), and 5 per tree (1,100/ha, 1.5 g AI/ha). Profile analysis by previously published mathematical methods matched predictions of noncompetitive mating disruption. Behavioral observations of male P. citrella in the field revealed that males did not approach mating disruption dispensers in any of the dispenser density treatments. The current report presents the first set of profile analyses combined with direct behavioral observations consistent with previously published theoretical predictions for a noncompetitive mechanism of mating disruption. The results suggest that disruption of P. citrella should be effective even at high population densities given the density-independent nature of disruption for this species and the remarkably low rate of pheromone per hectare required for efficacy.