Exploring Pheromone Lures and Traps for Monitoring a Specific Beetle Species

Jenn Hoskins
17th May, 2024

Exploring Pheromone Lures and Traps for Monitoring a Specific Beetle Species

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study focused on detecting the hibiscus bud weevil (HBW) in Florida using pheromone lures
  • Full-size cranberry weevil lure discs attracted more HBWs than other lure sizes in lab tests
  • Yellow sticky traps with cranberry weevil lures captured more HBWs than other traps in semi-field trials
  • Trap height did not significantly affect HBW capture rates
The hibiscus bud weevil (HBW), Anthonomus testaceosquamosus Linell, poses a significant threat to tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) in Florida, USA, following its invasion in 2017. As a regulated pest in the state, early detection is paramount to mitigate its impact. The University of Florida conducted a study to explore the potential of using pheromone lures for early detection of HBW, inspired by the success of similar pheromone-based monitoring programs for other weevil pests, such as the boll weevil, cranberry weevil, and pepper weevil[1]. Pheromones are chemicals secreted by insects to communicate with each other, often used in pest management to attract and trap pests. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of different pheromone lures, trap types, and trap heights in capturing HBW. Specifically, the researchers tested various lure sizes (4 mm, 10 mm, full-size), trap types (Yellow sticky trap, Japanese beetle trap, Boll weevil trap), and heights (0 m, 1.1 m). In laboratory assays, both male and female HBWs showed a higher attraction to full-size cranberry weevil lure discs than to other lure size-type combinations. This preference suggests that the full-size lure might be more effective in field conditions as well. In semi-field trials, yellow sticky traps baited with cranberry weevil lures captured more HBWs compared to Japanese beetle or boll weevil traps baited with the same lures. Interestingly, trap height did not significantly influence HBW capture, indicating that the placement height of the traps may not be a critical factor in their effectiveness. Additionally, in semi-field 4-choice bioassays, yellow sticky traps baited with cranberry weevil lures outperformed those baited with pepper weevil, boll weevil, or unbaited traps in capturing HBW. This finding highlights the potential of using yellow sticky traps with cranberry weevil lures for early HBW detection. This study builds upon previous research on pheromone-based pest management strategies. For example, field studies on Palpita unionalis in olive groves found that trap design, location, and color significantly influenced capture rates[2]. Similarly, research on Curculionidae has shown that host plant volatiles can enhance the attractiveness of weevil pheromones, playing a crucial role in chemical communication and pest management[3]. Moreover, the identification of specific pheromone compounds for the pepper weevil and their successful use in trapping both sexes of the pest underscores the potential of pheromone-based monitoring[4]. By leveraging these insights, the University of Florida's study on HBW underscores the importance of selecting the appropriate lure, trap type, and height for optimal efficacy. The promising results with yellow sticky traps baited with cranberry weevil lures suggest a viable method for early detection of HBW. However, further research is needed to thoroughly evaluate the cranberry weevil lure's efficacy in capturing HBW in various field conditions. In conclusion, this study provides a foundation for developing effective pheromone-based monitoring strategies for HBW, potentially mitigating the impact of this invasive pest on tropical hibiscus in Florida.

AgricultureEnvironmentAnimal Science


Main Study

1) Exploring market-available pheromone lures and traps for monitoring Anthonomus testaceosquamosus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

Published 17th May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Effect of trap type, trap color, trapping location, and pheromone dispenser on captures of male Palpita unionalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae).

Journal: Journal of economic entomology, Issue: Vol 97, Issue 2, Apr 2004

3) Aggregation Pheromones of Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae): Advances in the Identification and Potential Uses in Semiochemical-Based Pest Management Strategies.


4) Aggregation pheromone for the pepper weevil,Anthonomus eugenii cano (Coleoptera: Curculionidae): Identification and field activity.


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