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5 November 2022 Behavioral Response of Unmated Female Plodia interpunctella Hübner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) to Synthetic Sex Pheromone Lure
Alison R. Gerken, Danielle Dryer, Shelby R. Abts, James F. Campbell
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Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella Hübner, is an important pest of stored products in food facilities like processing plants, warehouses, and retail stores. Mating disruption, which uses synthetic pheromone to delay or prevent mating, is a relatively new management tactic for this pest but is becoming widely adopted. However, little is known about the mechanisms behind its efficacy, including how artificial pheromone impacts female behavior. Here we assay behavioral responses of two strains of unmated female P. interpunctella exposed to pheromone. Results show one strain increased the duration of calling behavior while the other decreased calling when exposed to pheromone lures. Time walking decreased, and time cleaning increased for both strains when exposed to pheromone. Time of first walking behavior was also delayed for one strain when exposed to pheromone. Females of both strains were less mobile when exposed to pheromone. These results show autodetection of pheromone by females, but also indicate that strains may vary in behavioral responses. Differing patterns of calling behavior between strains could be driven by either strain-specific genetic differences or laboratory induced effects. Decreasing calling behavior and overall movement during exposure to pheromone could enhance the effectiveness of a mating disruption program. However, increased calling by females in the presence of pheromone may be a competitive response and could increase mating success under certain scenarios. These findings suggest that artificial pheromone associated with monitoring and mating disruption programs has impacts on female behavior and warrants further study to determine the overall impacts on program effectiveness.

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Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2022. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Alison R. Gerken, Danielle Dryer, Shelby R. Abts, and James F. Campbell "Behavioral Response of Unmated Female Plodia interpunctella Hübner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) to Synthetic Sex Pheromone Lure," Environmental Entomology 51(6), 1200-1209, (5 November 2022).
Received: 26 July 2022; Published: 5 November 2022

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Indian meal moth
mating disruption
postharvest product
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