A novel pheromone dispenser for mating disruption of the leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae).
The sex pheromone of the leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) was deployed in a Florida citrus (Citrus spp.) grove by using a novel deployment device (IFM-413) containing SPLAT, a flowable formulation of an emulsified wax compound designed to provide slow release of semiochemicals. The device consisted of two disks connected by string. Each disk was loaded with 1 g of SPLAT containing either 0.15% (Z,Z,E)-7,11,13-hexadecatrienal (triene) or 2% (Z,Z)-7,11-hexadecadienal (diene). The devices were deployed using a two-dimensional multivariate design to determine the optimal rate of pheromone per unit area and degree of aggregation of the deployment devices (number of trees treated per unit area). The IFM-413 device proved effective at becoming securely entangled in tree branches. Furthermore, the devices effectively delivered pheromone-loaded SPLAT that resulted in disruption of trap catch of male P. citrella. Response surfaces showed a quadratic response of trap catch disruption to both total amount of pheromone per unit area and the degree of aggregation of the deployed devices (number of treated trees per unit area). The response surfaces for 0.15% triene or 2.0% diene were similar. The diene produced an effect similar to that of the triene at ∼13 times the rate of the triene. The greatest disruption of trap catch occurred when the number of treated trees per unit area was greatest (no aggregation of deployment devices). Manufacturing, packaging, and mechanical deployment of the devices remain to be investigated.