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Are Sweetpotato Weevils (Coleoptera: Brentidae) Differentially Attracted to Certain Colors?

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Abstract:

The sweetpotato weevil Cylas formicarius (F.) (Coleoptera: Brentidae) is one of the most serious insects causing damage to sweetpotatoes in the world. Small populations of these insects can cause severe damage to tubers of the crop. Without proper and effective control, weevil populations are likely to cause a huge or complete loss of sweetpotato production in sweetpotato growing areas. Consequently, there is an urgent need for development of an eco-friendly control method for this weevil. Although some control methods are effective, toxic pesticides applications are detrimental and damaging to our environment. Although pheromone traps are currently being used, no effective control of this weevil was achieved. Therefore, studies were carried out as part of the development of a trapping system for C. formicarius. Previous color-choice field tests have confirmed that C. formicarius preferred red traps over gray, green, brown, blue, white, yellow, or black; light red was more attractive than other shades of red. The current study aimed to know whether C. formicarius behavior changes in indoor conditions. Among the eight colored traps tested in the laboratory, green-colored traps were more effective in attracting C. formicarius than all other colors. It attracted nearly double the number of weevils than standard traps presently being used by growers. Based on these results, it is recommended to use green-colored traps to mass trap weevils (by attracting and killing) from sweetpotatoes grown under indoor (storage) conditions.

Keywords: Cylas formicarius; color; sex pheromone; trap

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/AN13135

Publication date: January 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Annals of the Entomological Society of America is published in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Annals especially invites submission of manuscripts that integrate different areas of insect biology, and address issues that are likely to be of broad relevance to entomologists. Articles also report on basic aspects of the biology of arthropods, divided into categories by subject matter: systematics; ecology and population biology; arthropod biology; arthropods in relation to plant diseases; conservation biology and biodiversity; physiology, biochemistry, and toxicology; morphology, histology, and fine structure; genetics; and behavior.
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