Fine-tuning the composition of the cranberry weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) aggregation pheromone

Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Hans T. Alborn, Cam Oehlschlager, Carolina Calvo, Vera Kyryczenko-Roth, Sunil Tewari, Martha M. Sylvia, Anne L. Averill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The cranberry weevil Anthonomus musculus Say is a key pest of highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) and cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton) in the northeastern United States. Previous studies have reported A. musculus adult attraction to traps baited with the aggregation pheromone of the pepper weevil Anthonomus eugenii Cano, likely because these two weevils share similar pheromone blends that differ only in two components. The A. musculus aggregation pheromone contains (Z)-2-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene) ethanol (Z grandlure II), (Z)-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene) acetaldehyde (grandlure III), (E)-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene) acetaldehyde (grandlure IV) and (E)-3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-ol (geraniol); whereas A. eugenii produces a pheromone blend that includes (E)-2-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene) ethanol (E grandlure II) and (E)-3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienoic acid (geranic acid) in addition to the four A. musculus pheromone components. Here, we hypothesized that differences in pheromone composition between these two species influence A. musculus adult attraction to its aggregation pheromone. To test this, we studied the response of A. musculus to its pheromone blend with and without E grandlure II and geranic acid, a commercial A. eugenii pheromone lure and a no-lure control in highbush blueberry and cranberry fields in New Jersey and Massachusetts, respectively. Regardless of crop type, A. musculus adults were more attracted to their four-component pheromone blend and the blend plus geranic acid than the commercial A. eugenii pheromone and the no-lure controls. The A. musculus pheromone blend plus E grandlure II and the A. eugenii pheromone blend also captured more A. musculus adults than the no-lure control but not compared to the commercial A. eugenii pheromone. Further analysis showed that A. musculus adults are significantly (~27%) less attracted to their pheromone blend if it contains E grandlure II, although the addition of geranic acid did not affect their response. These findings may help guide future efforts towards the development of behaviour-based tools to monitor and manage A. musculus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-421
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


  • aggregation
  • blueberry blossom weevil
  • cranberry
  • highbush blueberry
  • pepper weevil pheromone
  • semiochemical


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