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    Author(s): Alexander M. Gaffke; Sharlene E. Sing; Tom L. Dudley; Daniel W. Bean; Justin A. Russak; Agenor Mafra-Neto; Robert K. D. Peterson; David K. Weaver
    Date: 2020
    Source: Journal of Chemical Ecology. doi: 10.1007/s10886-020-01176-4.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (323.0 KB)


    Before weed biocontrol insects are transported and released in a new area, they are commonly collected into small paper containers, chilled, and kept under dark conditions. This process can be termed a pre-release protocol. The influence of a prerelease protocol on establishment success of a gregarious biological control agent was assessed using the northern tamarisk beetle, Diorhabda carinulata (Desbrochers), and its exotic, invasive host plant saltcedar (Tamarix spp.). Pre-release protocol impacts on aggregation pheromone production by D. carinulata were characterized under controlled conditions. Additional experiments were undertaken to determine if deployment of aggregation pheromone lures might enhance the agent’s persistence at release sites. Adults that experienced the pre-release protocol produced less aggregation pheromone compared to undisturbed adults. Olfactometer bioassays indicated that a cohort of adults subjected to the pre-release protocol were less attractive to other adults than a control cohort. Efficacy of aggregation pheromone-based lures to retain adults at release sites was evaluated by comparing capture numbers of adult beetles at paired treatment and control release sites, 10–14 days after the release of 300, 500, or 1000 individuals. A greater number of adult D. carinulata were captured where the pheromone lures had been deployed compared to control release sites. Application of aggregation pheromone when a new release of D. carinulata is planned should allow biological control practitioners to increase retention of beetles at a release site.

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    Gaffke, Alexander M.; Sing, Sharlene E.; Dudley, Tom L.; Bean, Daniel W.; Russak, Justin A.; Mafra-Neto, Agenor; Peterson, Robert K. D.; Weaver, David K. 2020. Establishing Diorhabda carinulata: Impact of release disturbances on pheromone emission and influence of pheromone lures on establishment. Journal of Chemical Ecology. doi: 10.1007/s10886-020-01176-4.


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    aggregation, biological control, release protocol, biological invasion, weed control

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