Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 10:23 AM

Comparing the success of mating disruption of vine mealybug (Planococcus ficus) in two continents

Vaughn Martin Walton,, Oregon State University, Horticulture, 4127 Ag & Life Sciences, Corvallis, OR and Kent M. Daane,, University of California - Berkeley, Center for Biological Control, Division of Insect Biology (ESPM), Wellman Hall, Berkeley, CA.

Vine mealybug (Planococcus ficus, VMB) continues to be one of the key pests in USA (California) and South African (Western Cape) vineyards with heavy reliance on synthetic pesticides for control. The availability of the VMB pheromone resulted in the possibility of mating disruption by distribution of the pheromone in point sources throughout trial vineyards. Objectives included replicated field tests with encapsulated VMB sex pheromone to determine its effectiveness as a VMB control option and to determine the effect of the encapsulated pheromone on the biology of VMB.

In both countries, VMB pheromone traps were essentially shut down (they picked up few VMB males) in plots receiving the microencapsulated pheromone. These low trap catches in pheromone-treated plots indicates that the sprayed pheromones had a profound effect on the ability of adult male P. ficus to successfully locate sexually mature female P. ficus. Physical VMB sampling however indicated a rise in P. ficus densities in both the treated and untreated plots. VMB population counts on leaves indicated that mating disruption was more effective at relatively low infestations. Lower crop loss was found in pheromone-treated plots in California in both seasons, but not in the Western Cape. The lack of differences can be attributed to overall low bunch infestation levels during the seasons here.

Lower numbers of viable crawlers were recorded per female VMB in the pheromone-treated plots compared to the control plots. A slightly higher percent parasitism was found in pheromone-treated plots in California but not in the Western Cape. These data indicate that mating disruption of VMB with the use of the micro-encapsulated pheromone-sprays shows promise.

Species 1: Hemiptera Pseudococcidae Planococcus ficus (vine mealybug)
Species 2: Hymenoptera Encyrtidae Anagyrus pseudococci
Species 3: Hymenoptera Encyrtidae Coccidoxenoides perminutus

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation