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Cocoon-spinning larvae of Oriental fruit moth and Indianmeal moth do not produce aggregation pheromone

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1 Mature larvae of the Oriental fruit moth (OFM) Grapholita molesta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) and the Indianmeal moth (IMM) Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) leave their food source in search of suitable pupation sites in which to spin cocoons. These sites are typically well-concealed cracks and crevices within the environment. Such cocooning behaviour is also observed in larvae of the codling moth (CM) Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), which aggregate prior to pupation in response to a pheromone blend produced by cocoon-spinning conspecific larvae.

2 In laboratory experiments, we tested whether cocoon-spinning OFM and IMM larvae produce aggregation pheromones and whether CM larvae are cross-attracted to closely-related OFM larvae.

3 Fifth-instar OFM and IMM larvae were not attracted to, or arrested by, cocoon-spinning conspecifics. Moreover, fifth-instar CM larvae were not cross-attracted to either cocoon-spinning OFM or IMM larvae.

4 Analyses of volatiles released from cocoon-spinning OFM and IMM larvae revealed that both OFM and IMM lack components that are present in the aggregation pheromone of CM larvae. This information may help explain why CM larvae are not cross-attracted to cocooning OFM or IMM larvae.
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Keywords: Codling moth; Cydia pomonella; Grapholita molesta; Indianmeal moth; Oriental fruit moth; Plodia interpunctella; larval aggregation; pheromone

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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