SPLAT-OrB reveals competitive attraction as a mechanism of mating disruption in oriental beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).

Category : SPLAT


This study compared the efÞcacy of SPLAT-OrB, a new pheromone formulation for oriental beetle mating disruption that can be mechanically applied, with hand-applied plastic dis- pensers in commercial blueberry Þelds. Both formulations were tested at 2.5 and 5 g of the major sex pheromone component (Z)-7-tetradecen-2-one per hectare, and evaluated by measuring trap shut- down, mating success of caged females, and the number of grubs in sentinel blueberry pots baited with tethered females. All pheromone-treated plots had fewer male captures in traps and lower mating success of caged females compared with untreated plots. SPLAT-OrB, and plastic dispensers at the higher rate, also reduced the number of grubs in sentinel pots. To understand the mechanism of mating disruption in oriental beetle, males were observed approaching the pheromone sources in disrupted plots. In addition, male oriental beetle captures were quantiÞed in plots treated with varying SPLAT- OrB dollop densities per ha. Consistent with predictions for competitive attraction, Þeld observations revealed males approaching the pheromone source and male captures decreasing concavely with increasing dollop density. In a mark-release-recapture study, male oriental beetles responded to SPLAT-OrB dollops and plastic dispensers at least 60 m from the source. Additionally, SPLAT-OrB emitted pheromone that was attractive to male oriental beetles for 5 wk; however, emission rates and attraction dropped rapidly during the Þrst 3Ð 4 wk. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using SPLAT-OrB for oriental beetle mating disruption as an alternative to hand-applied plastic dispensers, and conclusively reveals that a principal mechanism is the competitive attraction of males.