Mating disruption of the pine sawfly Neodiprion sertifer (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae) in isolated pine stands
• Previous applications of the mating disruption technique to Neodiprion sertifer resulted in decreased numbers of males caught in the treated area but no effect on sex ratio or overall population density.
• The present study assessed the efficacy of mating disruption against N. sertifer outbreaks in pine stands surrounded by agricultural areas or pasture, and therefore isolated from other infested areas.
• Pine stands were treated by placing dispensers with an erythro-mixture of the acetate ester of 3,7-dimethyl-2-pentadecanol every 10 m in a grid.
• The efficacy of this technique was evaluated by comparing the number of males caught in sticky traps baited with synthetic pheromone, and by comparing the sex ratio and the population density of the sawfly in the subsequent generation between treated and control pine stands.
• The number of males caught within treated areas was significantly lower than in the control area.
• In the treated pine stands 46% of the egg clusters resulted in male cocoons only, compared to 3% of the clusters in the control stand.
• A significant reduction of the sawfly population was observed in the treated pine stands. The results contrast to the earlier mating disruption attempts with N. sertifer and can probably be ascribed to the isolation of the experimental stands.