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C. P. Alexander review1: Thirty-five years of pheromone-based mating disruption studies with Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

  • Marc Rhainds (a1), Edward G. Kettela (a1) and Peter J. Silk (a1)


The Canadian registration in 2007 of Disrupt SBW Micro-Flakes®, a pheromone-based product for control of spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), paved the way for large-scale trials to test the practicality of mating disruption as a commercial pest management strategy. We review results from field and laboratory experiments on pheromone-based mating disruption of spruce budworm conducted from 1974 to 2008. Application of pheromone from the ground or the air consistently reduced the orientation of males toward pheromone sources. Mating disruption also reduced the mating success of caged or tethered females in 15 of 16 field studies where this parameter was recorded, but had only a limited effect on the mating success of feral females. No consistent difference in the density of egg masses in control and treated plots was observed, which has often been attributed to immigration of gravid females into pheromone-treated plots. Laboratory studies suggest that false-trail following is the predominant mechanism underlying mating disruption in spruce budworm. The enhanced mating success of females with increasing population density suggests that mating disruption should target low-density emergent populations during the initial phase of an outbreak. Constraints that may limit the potential of mating disruption as a management tool include (1) difficulties associated with obtaining accurate sampling estimates at low population density to forecast the onset of outbreaks, (2) potential behavioral adaptations by which females enhance their mating success when the atmosphere is treated with pheromone, and (3) long-range dispersal of females by flight.


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This series is supported by a fund established in memory of the late Charles P. Alexander. The Entomological Society of Canada uses the fund to support the publication of invited articles or reviews on topics that broaden the scope of The Canadian Entomologist and (or) are of current significance to entomology. Cette série est financée par un fond établi à la mémoire de feu Charles P. Alexander. La Société d'entomologie du Canada utilise les fonds afin de supporter la publication d'articles ou de revues sur invitation portant sur des sujets qui élargissent le champ de The Canadian Entomologist et (ou) sont présentement pertinents en entomologie.



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C. P. Alexander review1: Thirty-five years of pheromone-based mating disruption studies with Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

  • Marc Rhainds (a1), Edward G. Kettela (a1) and Peter J. Silk (a1)


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