A simple synthesis of the pheromone of the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Risso) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), has been developed. Various factors affecting capture of males have been assessed to optimize the trap design and to develop a lure with high efficacy and longevity. Male capture was the same with the racemic and chiral pheromone; technical pheromone (85% purity) was statistically as attractive as pure pheromone (97%). A special formulation was used to determine the actual release rate of the pheromone under field conditions as related to male capture. Generally, plate traps caught more males than delta traps, and large traps caught more than small ones. The effects of aging on the performance of three types of rubber dispensers were evaluated. It was found that the American dispenser displayed the most consistent trapping performance and could be used for monitoring for at least 16 wk with a load of 200 μg of pheromone. The dose-response of the males to sex pheromone was tested within the range of 25–1,600 μg.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2