Sex pheromone-mediated mating disruption using pheromone puffer dispensers was evaluated to control Coleophora deauratella (Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae) at three red clover seed production fields in Alberta, Canada. The objectives of the study were to determine aspects of the biology of C. deauratella which may affect successful mating disruption, evaluate the ability of aerosol-emitting pheromone puffers to reduce male moth catch in small-plot trials, and evaluate the ability of puffers to reduce male capture in traps, larval numbers and damage in large-plot trials. The median longevity of male and female C. deauratella was 6 d in the laboratory where males emerged in larger numbers earlier than females (protandry). Male response to pheromone peaked at sunrise; thus, puffers were programmed to dispense pheromone throughout this time period. Small-plot (0.25 ha) mating disruption trials indicated that pheromone released from puffers could reduce male C. deauratella orientation to traps by 60.7±18.6% compared with that in untreated control plots. Reduction of male orientation to traps in large-plot (5 ha) trials over the course of the season was also successful (93.7±1.6%). However, there was no corresponding decrease in larval numbers or increase in seed yield in pheromone-treated plots. Challenges of mating disruption of C. deauratella appear to be immigration of mated females combined with high population densities.
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Vol. 44 • No. 1