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Acetophenone superior to verbenone for reducing attraction of western pine beetle Dendroctonus brevicomis to its aggregation pheromone

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1 The western pine beetle Dendroctonus brevicomis LeConte (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) is one of the most damaging insect pests of ponderosa pines Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex P. & C. Lawson in Western U.S.A. We compared the effect of verbenone, a well known bark beetle anti-aggregation pheromone, with that of acetophenone on the attraction of D. brevicomis to its aggregation pheromone in a ponderosa pine forest in northern California. We tested the D. brevicomis aggregation pheromone alone and with three different release ratios of the aggregation pheromone (attractant) to verbenone or acetophenone (1 : 1, 1 : 2 and 1 : 5).

2 All treatments containing acetophenone or verbenone resulted in a significant reduction in the catch of D. brevicomis relative to the aggregation pheromone alone. When beetle responses to the three verbenone or three acetophenone treatments were pooled, the pooled verbenone treatment caught more D. brevicomis than the pooled acetophenone treatment.

3 There was no significant difference in the number of D. brevicomis caught among the three release rates of verbenone. By contrast, the 1 : 2 attractant : acetophenone ratio attracted significantly more D. brevicomis than the traps with the 1 : 5 attractant : acetophenone ratio.

4 Attraction of a major predator, Temnochila chlorodia (Mannerheim) (Coleoptera: Trogositidae), to the aggregation pheromone of D. brevicomis was reduced by verbenone, but not by acetophenone. Moreover, the T. chlorodia : D. brevicomis ratio for the pooled acetophenone treatment was 1.7-fold greater than that for the attractant alone and two-fold greater than the ratio for the pooled verbenone treatment, suggesting that acetophenone would not disrupt populations of this natural enemy. The importance of anti-attractants in the biology of D. brevicomis and other bark beetles is discussed.
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Keywords: Anti-attractant; Coleoptora; Scolytidae; bark beetles; predators; release rates

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: USDA-Forest Service, Pacific SW Research Station, Berkeley, CA 94701, U.S.A. 2: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Redding, CA 96002, U.S.A. 3: USDA Forest Service, Redding Silviculture Laboratory, Redding, CA 96002, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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