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Activity of male pheromone of Melanesian rhinoceros beetle Scapanes australis

Rochat D., Morin J.P., Kakul T., Beaudoin-Ollivier L., Prior R.N.B., Renou M., Malosse I., Stathers T., Embupa S., Laup S.. 2002. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 28 (3) : p. 479-500.

DOI: 10.1023/A:1014531810037

Laboratory and field investigations were carried out to investigate the nature and role of the male pheromone emitted by the dynast beetle Scapanes australis and to develop a mass trapping technique against this major coconut pest in Papua New Guinea. We report the biological data obtained from natural and synthetic pheromone, previously described as a 84:12:4 (w/w) mixture of 2-butanol (1), 3-hydroxy-2-butanone (2), and 2,3-butanediol (3). EAG recordings from natural and synthetic pheromone and a pitfall olfactometer were poorly informative. In contrast, extensive field trapping trials with various synthetic pheromone mixtures and doses showed that 1 and 2 (formulated in polyethylene sachets in 90:5 v/v ratio) were necessary and sufficient for optimum long-range attraction. Beetles were captured on traps baited with racemic 1 plus 2, with or without a stereoisomer mixture of 3 (2.5- to 2500-mg/day doses). Plant pieces, either sugarcane or coconut, enhanced captures by the synthetic pheromone, which was active alone. Traps with the pheromone caught both sexes in a 3:2 female-male ratio. A pheromone-based mass trapping led to the capture of 2173 beetles in 14 traps surrounding 40 ha of a cocoa-coconut plantation. The captures followed a log-linear decrease during the 125-week trapping program. The role of the male pheromone and its potential for crop protection are discussed.

Mots-clés : scarabaeidae; insecte nuisible; cocos nucifera; phéromone; analogue phéromone; piégeage des animaux; lutte anti-insecte; piège; attractif sexuel; expérimentation au champ; papouasie-nouvelle-guinée; scapanes australis; dynastidae

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