The oligophagous cranberry weevil, Anthonomus musculus Say, causes economic losses to blueberry growers in New Jersey because females deposit eggs into developing flower buds and subsequent larval feeding damages buds, which fail to produce fruit. A cost-effective and reliable method is needed for monitoring this pest to correctly time insecticide applications. We studied the behavioral and antennal responses of adult A. musculus to its host plant volatiles to determine their potential for monitoring this pest. We evaluated A. musculus response to intact and damaged host plant parts, such as buds and flowers in Y-tube bioassays. We also collected and identified host plant volatiles from blueberry buds and open flowers and performed electroan-tennograms with identified compounds to determine the specific chemicals eliciting antennal responses. Male weevils were more attracted to blueberry flower buds and were repelled by conspecific-damaged buds compared with clean air. In contrast, females were more attracted to open flowers compared with flower buds. Nineteen volatiles were identified from blueberry buds; 10 of these were also emitted from blueberry flowers. Four of the volatiles emitted from both blueberry buds and flowers [hexanol, (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, hexyl acetate, and (Z)-3-hexenyl butyrate] elicited strong antennal responses from A. musculus. Future laboratory and field testing of the identified compounds in combination with various trap designs is planned to develop a reliable monitoring trap for A. musculus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science
- Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
- Headspace analysis
- Highbush blueberry
- Y-tube bioassay