Attraction of the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle, Xyleborus glabratus, to Avocado, Lychee, and Essential Oil Lures

Publication Type:Journal Article
Authors:P. E. Kendra, Montgomery, W. S., Niogret, J., Pena, J. E., Capinera, J. L., Brar, G., Epsky, N. D., Heath, R. R.
Journal:Journal of Chemical Ecology
Date Published:Sep
:Xyleborus glabratus

The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff, is an exotic wood-boring insect that vectors the mycopathogen responsible for laurel wilt, a lethal vascular disease of trees in the Lauraceae. High mortality has occurred in native Persea species in the southeastern U. S., and the vector-pathogen complex poses an imminent threat to the production of commercial avocado, P. americana, in south Florida. There is a critical need for effective attractants to detect, monitor, and control this invasive pest. This study combined field tests and laboratory bioassays to evaluate the response of female X. glabratus to host-based volatiles from wood of avocado (cultivars of West Indian, Guatemalan, and Mexican races); from wood of lychee (Litchi chinensis, a presumed non-host that is high in the sesquiterpene [alpha]-copaene, a putative attractant); and to commercial lures containing manuka and phoebe oils, two reported attractive baits. Volatile collections and GC-MS analyses were performed to quantify the sesquiterpene content of test substrates. In the field, traps baited with lychee wood captured more beetles than those with wood from avocado cultivars; traps baited with phoebe oil lures captured more beetles than those with manuka oil lures (the current monitoring tool). In field and laboratory tests, X. glabratus did not show a preference among avocado races in either attraction or host acceptance ( initiation of boring). In choice tests, lychee was more attractive than avocado initially, but a higher percentage of beetles bored into avocado, suggesting that lychee emits more powerful olfactory/visual cues, but that avocado contains more of the secondary cues necessary for host recognition. Emissions of [alpha]-copaene, [beta]-caryophyllene, and [alpha]-humulene were correlated with field captures, and lychee wood may be a source of additional semiochemicals for X. glabratus.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith