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Trifluoromethyl ketones reversibly inhibit pheromone-degrading esterases in insect olfactory tissues, affecting pheromone detection and behavior of moth males. In this work, (Z)-9-tetradecenyl trifluoromethyl ketone (Z9-14:TFMK), a closely-related analogue of the pheromone of the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), was prepared and tested in electroantennogram and field tests as possible inhibitors of the pheromone action. The electroantennogram parameters, amplitude, and the repolarization time of the antennal responses of S. frugiperda males were affected by Z9-14:TFMK vapors. Exposure of male antennae to a stream of air passing through 100 ìg of the ketone produced a significant reduction of the amplitude and an increase of 2/3 repolarization time signals to the pheromone. The effect was reversible and dose-dependent. In the field, the analogue significantly decreased the number of males caught when mixed with the pheromone in 10:1 ratio. The results suggest that Z9-14:TFMK is a mating disruptant of S. frugiperda and may be a good candidate to consider in future strategies to control this pest.
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