The synthetic sex pheromone of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), was evaluated in the field bioassays. In a period of 27 wk, >90,000 males were captured on sticky traps in the three locations in Key Biscayne, FL. Our experimental results showed that a laboratory-prepared (R)-lavandulyl (S)-2-methylbutanoate and (R)-maconelliyl (S)-2-methylbutanoate blend in a ratio of 1:5 on a rubber septum was attractive to males at concentration as low as 0.1 μg per trap. Male M. hirsutus captures were not significantly different from traps baited with 1- or 10-μg doses, but 0.1- and 100-μg doses captured significantly fewer males. Some of the unnatural stereoisomers of the pheromone antagonized attraction. The alcohols, which could be detected in virgin female’s volatiles, also exhibited a repulsive effect. Rubber septum lures baited with 1- and 10-μg doses of the synthetic pheromone remained active for at least 21 wk under field conditions. Monitoring of adult flight activity with a 1-μg dose of synthetic pheromone indicated there were multiple generations during the tested period of 8 July 2003 to 12 January 2004.
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