We tested different pheromone-baited traps for surveying winter moth, Operophtera brumata (L.) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), populations in eastern North America. We compared male catch at Pherocon 1C sticky traps with various large capacity traps and showed that Universal Moth traps with white bottoms caught more winter moths than any other trap type. We ran the experiment on Cape Cod, MA, where we caught only winter moth, and in western Massachusetts, where we caught only Bruce spanworm, Operophtera bruceata (Hulst) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), a congener of winter moth native to North America that uses the same pheromone compound [ (Z,Z,Z)-1,3,6,9 -nonadecatetraene] and is difficult to distinguish from adult male winter moths. With Bruce spanworm, the Pherocon 1C sticky traps caught by far the most moths. We tested an isomer of the pheromone [ (Z,Z,Z) -1,3,6,9-nonadecatetraene] that previous work had suggested would inhibit captures of Bruce spanworm but not winter moths. We found that the different doses and placements of the isomer suppressed captures of both species to a similar degree. We are thus doubtful that we can use the isomer to trap winter moths without also catching Bruce spanworm. Pheromone-baited survey traps will catch both species.
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Vol. 104 • No. 2