Optimizing pheromone-based lures for the invasive red-necked longhorn beetle, Aromia bungii.
Aromia bungii is a serious pest of stone fruit trees including cherries, plums, peaches and apricots. It is native to eastern Asia but has recently been introduced into and has established in Japan, Germany and Italy and has been intercepted in cargo entering the USA and Great Britain. We synthesized the naturally produced enantiomer of the major pheromone component, (E)-2-cis-6,7-epoxynonenal, and in field tests, comparing its attractiveness to that of the racemate. We also tested different ratios of a minor pheromone component, (2E,6Z)-nona-2,6-dienal, on attraction to the major component. Lastly, we conducted a dose-response assay to determine the optimal loading rates. Addition of the minor component at a ratio of 0.31 mg minor to 25 mg major component is more than double the trap captures of males but not females. Using this ratio, we found no difference in trap captures with 10 mg, 32 mg or 100 mg of the major component, but the 10 mg load attracted significantly more females than the 3.2 mg load, and only the 32 mg load attracted significantly more males than the 3.2 mg load. The natural enantiomer was significantly more attractive to females than the racemate. However, the multi-step, low-yielding synthesis likely will prohibit the insect-produced enantiomer from being used for operational trapping. The addition of the minor component to the racemate significantly increased trap catches, and the dose-response assay did not indicate significant differences in loads above 10 mg of the racemic major component when formulated with ∼1.2% of the minor component.