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Qualitative and quantitative responses of Diabroticina (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) to cucurbit extracts linked to species, sex, weather and deployment method

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Toxic baits and traps for Diabroticina, based on bitter cucurbit extracts, have been utilized for a number of years with inconsistent results. Four species of bitter Cucurbitaceae were compared in the field for their attractancy to species of Diabroticina in Argentina and the United States. The comparisons were made with polyester fabrics treated with known volumes of different cucurbit extracts, against a standard cucurbit extract of bitter Hawkesbury watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunberg) Matsumura and Nakai). The factors evaluated were: the attractancy of the different extracts in terms of beetle numbers, species and sex of the Diabroticina caught; influence of different fabrics on such attraction; and influence of several weather variables on the catches. The most attractive species was Cayaponia bonariensis (Miller) Martinez Crovetto, however, practical considerations indicated that Cucumis myriocarpus Naudin and Hawkesbury watermelon may be better choices from the commercial perspective. No single weather factor could explain the catches throughout the sample range, but different temperature and barometric pressure ranges provided some predictive value. Although the susceptibility to weather conditions and a strong male dominance in the catches raise the question of the usefulness of cucurbitacins as the main component in toxic baits or traps, these drawbacks may prove to be less important in widespread bait applications and Diabroticina management in vegetable crops.
Cabrera Walsh, G. , Weber, D.C. , Mattioli, F. , Heck, G.
Includes references
Journal of applied entomology 2008 Apr., v. 132, no. 3
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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