The response of Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) to different emission rates of its pheromone, (3E, 8Z, 11Z)-tetradecatrienyl acetate, was measured in two greenhouse trials with traps baited with mesoporous dispensers. For this purpose, weekly moth trap catches were correlated with increasing pheromone emission levels by multiple regression analysis. Pheromone release profiles of the dispensers were obtained by residual pheromone extraction and gas chromatography quantification. In the first trial carried out in summer 2010, effect of pheromone emission was significant as catches increased linearly with pheromone release rates up to the highest studied level of 46.8 µg/d. A new trial was carried out in spring 2011 to measure the effect of the emission factor when pheromone release rates were higher. Results demonstrated that trap catches and pheromone emission fitted to a quadratic model, with maximum catches obtained with a release level of 150.3 µg/d of (3E, 8Z, 11Z)-tetradecatrienyl acetate. This emission value should provide enhanced attraction of T. absoluta and improve mass trapping, attract-and-kill, or monitoring techniques under greenhouse conditions in the Mediterranean area.
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Vol. 42 • No. 5