Optimisation of the pheromone blend of the swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii, for monitoring
The swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii Kieffer, is a serious pest in crucifers. Its pheromone is a blend of (2S,9S)-diacetoxyundecane, (2S,10S)-diacetoxyundecane and (2S)-acetoxyundecane. The pheromone is used in monitoring traps, and this study examines possible ways to optimise the traps. Two dispenser types were compared: polyethylene dispensers and cotton dispensers. Polyethylene dispensers attracted male C. nasturtii for more than 6 weeks, whereas cotton dispensers were attractive for only 2 weeks. All three pheromone components were important for attraction of male midges in the field. The importance of the stereoisomeric compositions of the pheromone compounds was also tested-both in the wind tunnel and in the field. In the case of 2,9-diacetoxyundecane and 2-acetoxyundecane, the non-natural stereoisomers did not inhibit male C. nasturtii attraction, whereas one or both of the stereoisomers of 2,10-diacetoxyundecane did. Pheromone traps with the synthetic pheromone in a 1:2:0.02 ratio emitted from PE dispensers were highly effective and long lasting. As the mixture of stereoisomers of 2,10-diacetoxyundecane strongly inhibited attraction of male C. nasturtii while those of 2,9-diacetoxyundecane and 2-acetoxyundecane did not have any inhibitory effect, it is possible to produce traps that are effective and long lasting but cheaper to produce and maintain.