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Sex pheromone of apple fruit moth Argyresthia conjugella (Lepidoptera: Argyresthiidae)

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•  The apple fruit moth Argyresthia conjugella Zell. (Lepidoptera: Argyresthiidae) is the most important pest of apple in Scandinavia. It invades apple orchards and can destroy an entire crop during years of poor flowering and fruitsetting of its principal host, mountain ash Sorbus aucuparia. We investigated the female sex pheromone of apple fruit moth in order to develop a reliable lure, which can be used to detect migration of apple fruit moth into orchards and thus to avoid preventive insecticide sprays.

•  Pheromonal compounds obtained by solvent extraction of excised A. conjugella female pheromone glands were identified by coupled gas chromatography/electroantennography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Two compounds (Z)-11-hexadecenyl acetate, and the analogous alcohol (Z)-11-hexadecen-1-ol, elicited a strong response from male antennae. (Z)-11-hexadecenyl acetate was highly attractive in field trapping tests, whereas as little as a 1%-addition of (Z)-11-hexadecen-1-ol strongly reduced male attraction.

•  (Z)-13-octadecenyl acetate, a previously reported sex attractant, had no effect on A. conjugella male attraction.
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Keywords: Apple orchard; Argyresthia conjugella; Sorbus aucuparia; chemical identification; field trapping; sex pheromone

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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