Short communication. Mutual pheromone antagonism in two sympatric corn borers, Sesamia nonagrioides and Ostrinia nubilalis, under field conditions

C. Lopez-Alonso, M. Eizaguirre, R. Albajes


In previous studies, we demonstrated cross-antagonism in pheromone perception between pheromone componentsof the two corn (Zea mays L.) borers Sesamia nonagrioides Lefèbvre (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in the laboratory and in the field. The two pheromone components identified as responsible for this cross-antagonism were Z 11-16:Ald, a minor component of S. nonagrioides pheromone, and Z 11-14:Ac, the main component of the pheromone of the Z-strain of O. nubilalis, which inhibited the response of O. nubilalis and S. nonagrioides, respectively. Here, we study this antagonism phenomenon in the field by air permeation of maize plots with each of the two components separately and measurement of mating in caged couples of the two corn borers on treated and untreated plots during three years. A significant reduction in mating rates was observed on the permeated plots: 7% for S. nonagrioides and 12% for O. nubilalis. When dispenser charges (200 ng) were increased by 50% and 75% in the third year, no decrease in mating rates was recorded at either of the increased concentrations. On the other hand, the use of large cages resulted in an increase of 8% to 12% in the percentage of unmated females in each of the two corn borers suggesting that at more realistic field corn borer densities, 0,1 couples/plant instead of the 2 couples/plant used in this experiment, cross-antagonism in the two corn borers could be higher than that recorded in small cages.


inhibition; maize; mating disruption

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/20110901-079-10