Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 519–529 | Cite as

Evaluation of pheromone of false codling moth Thaumatotibia leucotreta in Israel by sequential SPME/GCMS analysis and field trials

  • Anat Levi-ZadaEmail author
  • Daniela Fefer
  • Reut Madar
  • Sara Steiner
  • Roy Kaspi
Original Paper


The false codling moth (FCM), Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is an indigenous pest of citrus and other crops in sub-Saharan areas of Africa. The pest was first recorded in Israel in the 1980s and has remained at low population levels although extending its geographic range. The pest is difficult to detect without pheromone traps, but published information is conflicting about the optimal blend for male capture. In the present work, we used the SSGA method of sequential solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis, in which the usual circadian pattern of pheromone release by insects is revealed and characterized. The SSGA method enabled the identification of 11 components that are emitted by female FCM specifically during the “calling” time which coincides with maximum pheromone emission. In addition, pheromone glands of 362 females of different ages in days after eclosion were dissected at the time of day when maximum pheromone emission occurs (SSGA results) in order to obtain the nanogram amounts of pheromone components necessary for identification and quantification. The component mixtures were tested using a subtraction method in both electroantennograms and field trials. The crucial pheromone components for optimal baits are E8-12:Ac and Z8-12:Ac in a ratio of 9:1. Our results suggest that a 1 mg blend of this pheromone inside a closed polyethylene vial, within an IPS trap placed as high as possible in the fruit tree, is suitable for monitoring.


False codling moth Sequential SPME/GCMS analysis EAG Circadian rhythm Pheromone 



This study was supported by a mutual grant from the Chief Scientist of Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and The Israeli Plant Board # 20-15-0029. We thank Mrs. Valeria Sepliarsky, Israeli Plant Protection and Inspection Services, for her help in gland dissections. Thanks also to Mr. Nikolay Kovalev (Biochemtech, Moldova) and Dr. Shams Usmani (Russell IPM, UK) for providing standards.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Angelini A, Descoins C, Lhoste J, Trijau JP, Zagatti P (1981) Test of new formulations of synthetic attractants for sexual trapping of Cryptophlebia leucotreta Meyr. (Lepidoptera). Cot Fib Trop 36:259–264Google Scholar
  2. Attygalle AB, Schwarz J, Vostrowsky O, Bestmann HJ (1986) Individual variation in the sex pheromone components of the false codling moth Cryptophlebia leucotreta. Z Naturforsch 41c:1077–1081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bestmann HJ, Erler J, Vostrowsky O (1988) Determination of diel periodicity of sex pheromone release in three species of Lepidoptera by ‘closed-loop-stripping’. Experienta 44:797–799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Byers JA (1992) Optimal fractionation and bioassay plans for isolation of synergistic chemicals: the subtractive-combination method. J Chem Ecol 18:1603–1621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clarke JFG (1958) Catalogue of the type specimens of Microlepidoptera in the British Museum (Natural History) described by Edward Meyrick, vol III. British Museum (Natural History), London, p 327Google Scholar
  6. Conover WJ, Iman RL (198) Rank transformations as a bridge between parametric and nonparametric statistics. Am Stat 35:124–129Google Scholar
  7. Corey EJ, Suggs W (1979) Pyridinium Chlorochromate. An efficient reagent for oxidation of primary and secondary alcohols to carbonyl compounds. Tetrahedron Lett 31:2647–2650Google Scholar
  8. Daiber C (1979) A study of the biology of the false codling moth [Cryptophlebia leucotreta (Meyr.)]: the egg. Phytophylactica 11:129–132Google Scholar
  9. Hall DR, Beevor PS, Cork A, Nesbitt BF, La Croix EA (1984) (Z)-8-dodecenyl acetate: the major component of the female sex pheromone of Cryptophlebia batrachopa, a Tortricid pest of macadamia in Malawi. Entomol Exp Appl 35:33–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hofmeyr JH, Burger BV (1995) Controlled-release pheromone dispenser for use in traps to monitor flight activity of false codling moth. J Chem Ecol 21:355–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hofmeyr JH, Calitz FJ (1991) Field evaluation of synthetic sex attractants of the false codling moth, Cryptophlebia leucotreta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Phytophylactica 23:149–152Google Scholar
  12. Institute SAS (2017) JMP Statistics and Graphics Guide, Release 12. SAS Institute Inc., CaryGoogle Scholar
  13. Komai F (1999) A taxonomic review of the genus Grapholita and allied genera (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in the Palaearctic region. Entomol Scand 55(Suppl.):1–219Google Scholar
  14. Levi-Zada A, Fefer D, Anshelevitch L, Litovsky A, Bengtsson M, Gindin G, Soroker V (2011) Identification of the sex pheromone of the lesser date moth, Batrachedra amydraula, using sequential SPME auto-sampling. Tetrahedron Lett 52:4550–4553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Levi-Zada A, Nestel D, Fefer D, Nemni-Lavy E, Deloya-Kahane I, David M (2012) Analyzing Diurnal and Age-Related Pheromone Emission of the Olive Fruit Fly, Bactrocera oleae (Diptera: Tephritidae) by Sequential SPME-GCMS Analysis. J Chem Ecol 38:1036–1041CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Levi-Zada A, Sadowsky A, Dobrinin S, David M, Ticuchinski T, Fefer D, Greenberg A, Blumberg D (2013) Reevaluation of the sex pheromone of the lesser date moth, Batrachedra amydraula, using autosampling SPME–GC/MS and field bioassays. Chemoecology 23:13–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Levi-Zada A, Fefer D, David M, Eliyahu M, Franco JC, Protasov A, Dunkelblum E, Mendel Z (2014a) Diel periodicity of pheromone release by females of Planococcus citri and Planococcus ficus and the temporal flight activity of their conspecific males. Naturwissenschaften 101:671–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Levi-Zada A, David M, Fefer D, Seplyarsky V, Sadowsky A, Dobrinin S, Ticuchinski T, Harari D, Blumberg D, Dunkelblum E (2014b) Circadian release of male-specific components of Greater date moth, Aphomia (Arenipses) sabella, using Sequential SPME/GCMS Analysis. J Chem Ecol 40:236–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Levi-Zada A, Steiner S, Fefer D, Kaspi R (2019) Identification of the sex pheromone of the spherical mealybug Nipaecoccus viridis. J Chem Ecol 45(5–6):455–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Meyrick E (1912) Descriptions of South African micro-lepidoptera. Ann Transvaal Mus 63–83Google Scholar
  21. Moore S, Kirkman W, Fullard T, Hill M (2014) CRI Group Annual Research Report, integrated pest management FCM program report, pp 14–30Google Scholar
  22. Newton PJ, Mastro VC (1989) Field evaluations of commercially available traps and synthetic sex pheromone lures of the false codling moth, Cryptophlebia leucotreta (Meyr.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Trop Pest Manag 35:100–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Newton PJ, Thomas CD, Mastro VC, Schwalbe CP (1993) Improved two-component blend of the synthetic female sex pheromone of Cryptophlebia leucotreta, and identification of an attractant for C. peltastica. Entomol Exp Appl 66:75–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Persoons CJ, Ritter FJ, Nooyen WJ (1977) Sex pheromone of the false codling moth Cryptophlebia leucotreta (Lepidoptera:Tortricidae). J Chem Ecol 3:717–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Read JS, Warren FL, Hewitt PH (1968) Identification of the sex pheromone of the false codling moth (Argyroploce leucotreta). Chem Commun (London) 792-793Google Scholar
  26. Stotter RL, Samways MJ, Hattingh V (2014) Preparing the way for sterile insect release: determination of false codling moth distribution across a landscape mosaic. Crop Prot 60:1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Emergency and Domestic Programs (2010) New Pest Response Guidelines: False Codling Moth Thaumatotibia leucotreta. Riverdale, Maryland. Accessed 1 Jan 2019
  28. Venette RC, Davis EE, DaCosta M, Heisler H, Larson M (2003) Mini Risk Assessment False codling moth, Thaumatotibia (= Cryptophlebia) leucotreta (Meyrick) [Lepidoptera: Tortricidae]. Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  29. Wysoki M (1986) New records of lepidopterous pests of Macadamia in Israel. Phytoparasitica 14(2):147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zagatti P, Lalanne-Cassou B, Descoins C, Gallois M (1983) New results on the sex pheromone of the false codling moth, Cryptophlebia leucotreta Meyr. (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae). Agronomie 3:75–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zar JH (1999) Biostatistical analysis. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EntomologyAgricultural Research Organization, Volcani CenterRishon LeZionIsrael

Personalised recommendations