Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) is the most serious pest of pines (Pinus spp.) in Mexico. Conspecifics are attracted to trees undergoing colonization by the aggregation pheromone frontalin, which is synergized by odors of pine oleoresin released from beetle-damaged host tissue. Synthetic racemic frontalin combined with turpentine has been the operational bait used in traps for monitoring populations of D. frontalis in Mexico as well as the United States. Recently, racemic endo-brevicomin has been reported to be a synergist of the frontalin/turpentine bait and as an important component of the aggregation pheromone for D. frontalis populations in the United States. To determine whether racemic endo-brevicomin also might function as an aggregation synergist for the geographically isolated D. frontalis populations of Central America and Mexico, we performed a field trapping trial in Lagunas de Montebello National Park, Chiapas, Mexico, during July and August 2007. The combination of endo-brevicomin (placed either directly on the trap or 4 m away) plus racemic frontalin and turpentine caught at least 5 times more D. frontalis of both sexes than did turpentine either alone or in combination with either frontalin or endo-brevicomin. The addition of endo-brevicomin to the frontalin/turpentine bait also increased the proportion of females trapped. We conclude that the addition of endo-brevicomin might substantially improve the efficiency of the frontalin/turpentine bait for monitoring of D. frontalis in Central America and Mexico. We discuss factors that reconcile our results with previous studies that reported endo-brevicomin to be an attractant antagonist for populations of D. frontalis in Mexico and Honduras.
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Vol. 101 • No. 6