The extent to which a carrier powder was taken up and horizontally transferred by contaminated Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) individuals to conspecifics was evaluated. Using a marker dye, which was shown to be colocalized with the carrier powder, the amount of powder on the Indianmeal moth, as determined by spectrophotometry, was correlated with quantification based on a novel image analysis approach that enabled differentiation of powder uptake by body region. Over a 48-h period, more powder was retained on the ventral surface than the dorsal side, with the head region showing the greatest amount of powder uptake and retention. During courtship, powder was horizontally transferred by treated males to 1.6% of the head and 0.06% of the untreated females' body. To inoculate moths, a pit-fall style autodissemination station was determined as being more effective than a powder tray, as significantly more material was taken up to the key areas of the moth's body where powder is more effectively retained and more likely to be horizontally transferred. Additionally, a pit-fall station prevented moths from exhibiting avoidance behavior from the powder, which was frequently encountered if they had to walk into a powder tray.This study shows that different regions of the Indianmeal moth body vary in capacity to carry powder and that future research efforts should target these specific regions. Although the proposed autodissemination system was optimized for management strategies of Indianmeal moth, we believe the results presented here can be used to develop novel management strategies for other insect pests.
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Vol. 102 • No. 1