Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 1161–1168 | Cite as

Communication Disruption of Guava Moth (Coscinoptycha improbana) Using a Pheromone Analog Based on Chain Length

  • D. M. SucklingEmail author
  • J. J. Dymock
  • K. C. Park
  • R. H. Wakelin
  • L. E. Jamieson


The guava moth, Coscinoptycha improbana, an Australian species that infests fruit crops in commercial and home orchards, was first detected in New Zealand in 1997. A four-component pheromone blend was identified but is not yet commercially available. Using single sensillum recordings from male antennae, we established that the same olfactory receptor neurons responded to two guava moth sex pheromone components, (Z)-11-octadecen-8-one and (Z)-12-nonadecen-9-one, and to a chain length analog, (Z)-13-eicosen-10-one, the sex pheromone of the related peach fruit moth, Carposina sasakii. We then field tested whether this non-specificity of the olfactory neurons might enable disruption of sexual communication by the commercially available analog, using male catch to synthetic lures in traps in single-tree, nine-tree and 2-ha plots. A disruptive pheromone analog, based on chain length, is reported for the first time. Trap catches for guava moth were disrupted by three polyethylene tubing dispensers releasing the analog in single-tree plots (86 % disruption of control catches) and in a plots of nine trees (99 % disruption). Where peach fruit moth pheromone dispensers were deployed at a density of 1000/ha in two 2-ha areas, pheromone traps for guava moth were completely disrupted for an extended period (up to 470 days in peri-urban gardens in Mangonui and 422 days in macadamia nut orchards in Kerikeri). In contrast, traps in untreated areas over 100 m away caught 302.8 ± 128.1 moths/trap in Mangonui and 327.5 ± 78.5 moths/ trap in Kerikeri. The longer chain length in the pheromone analog has greater longevity than the natural pheromone due to its lower volatility. Chain length analogs may warrant further investigation for mating disruption in Lepidoptera, and screening using single-sensillum recording is recommended.


Pheromone analog Carposinidae Single sensillum recording Macadamia nut Guava 



The Royal Society of New Zealand are gratefully acknowledged for the granting of a Teaching Fellowship to RHW based at Plant & Food Research. The Northland Regional Council funded the large-scale mating disruption trials with further support from Plant & Food Research (Sustainable IPM in Horticulture). We thank Jeff Cleghorn and Daehee Ahn who allowed pheromone dispensers and guava moth traps on their property. Asha Chhagan kindly assisted with field work, and Rikard Unelius helpfully reviewed the manuscript. Ed Stewart helped with synonyms and Barry Bunn synthesized the (Z7)-23Hy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Suckling
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. J. Dymock
    • 2
  • K. C. Park
    • 1
  • R. H. Wakelin
    • 3
  • L. E. Jamieson
    • 4
  1. 1.The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research LimitedChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.TaipaNew Zealand
  3. 3.The New Zealand Royal Society Appointed FellowRuakakaNew Zealand
  4. 4.The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research LimitedAucklandNew Zealand

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